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What the Birds Heard

Prologue Chirp Chirp! Brotherly love.

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An exasperated sigh was let out as he looked at his watch for the umpteenth time in the past ten minutes. He felt his molars gnashing against each other for dominance, eyes wincing in the gaps of shade.

“He is late…”

He parked his elbows on the railing, displaying the distastefully bright logo emblazoned across his upper back. He was supposed to be inside a while ago catering to prospective buyers, but selling… the lowest occupation on his list, lets just say he’d rather scrub a latrine with his tongue. He couldn’t taste anything half the time anyways. As he sparked up a cig, a figure finally emerged from the stairway and silently parked itself a few feet away, back turned to the railing.

“Traffic. Beautiful view, huh? This center is on premo property and goes for a mint. They were going to make apartments here but they figured they could make way more from companies.”

“ Cemo, it’s too quiet here. I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep since I dropped here. My ebb and flow has stopped. I mean Christ, look at this place… no spent shells, no tank tracks, no smoke, no fires, nothing! People laughing with their children and eating ice cream I hate kids!. I was fighting before I slept and I was fighting when I woke now how the fuck… “

“ Look, ’Gabriel.’ I’m your brother and I love you, but you‘re fucking crazy. Whatever those battle-hungry mercenaries had you got it. Go see a shrink for shit sake. There is more to life than just conflict. If you get your rocks off from drilling holes in people that’s fine-- far be it from me to tell you otherwise, but I‘m telling you to stow that shit. You know as well as I do that there is an appropriate time and place for everything, so stuff it until the time comes.”

A small case the size of a business card was perched on the railing next to Gabe.

“ I would’ve thought that job as an escort would’ve taught you that. Here, the new set. Our machine has been on the defective lately. Slide your finger across the top to open. Shiny new ID and an account at Eden Financial, residence at 555 Ocean Drive, and a baffled brother who wouldn’t dare say he is impressed. Amazing what a pencil pusher and a few forms can do, ne aniki?”

“On the second try.”

“Complaint noted. These services are not complementary by the way…”

“And this is what I get for saving your life.”

“Gratitude noted. I have to look out for me and my own too, ya know… I saw the digits setting up your account with apartment and you CAN afford me.”

A picture of a rosy faced little child was placed in front of Gabe.

“Ne? I have good genes, don’t I?”

“Handsome… just like his mother.”

“HER name is Mandilynn, prick. I’m definitely collecting now. If you don’t pay I can always… turn you in, aniki.”

“Cemo you snake!”

“... all the way to the bank! Reality check asshole, any info leading to return is what adds up to a couple grand, but if I fork you over with a big red bow I’ll be sitting pretty for the next three hundred years! Your lucky you've changed so drastically, but when The Corp gets whiff of your ass they’ll be all over you like stink on shit!!”

“Watch your tone!”

“… said the man born of a King, raised by a Knight.”

“Ben is not a Knight. He’s just some dried up old coot running a daycare. Being dead for three years puts things in perspective.”

“Will-aniki would drop you where you stand if he heard you badmouthing the old man. Speaking of dead, Sage died on paper some three years ago. This gave me some wiggle room for your background. It mirrors your original except parents, schooling, and terms of service in Spacy. I put you in Field 88, since you like to drive. There is even a pretty bow on your dossier. And speaking of pictures, I gotta admit, I just barely freaking recognize you. With your new skin and scruff and all...”

The remark about his looks went ignored when the look of disbelief cracks across his face as he scrolled on the small tablet.

“You had to’ve had help.”

“What do you think Willande does?”

A crisp click snapped the case closed as Gabe spoke in his faux British accent, something he often did when complimenting family.

Good form old man, good form. ”

Gabe turned towards the entrance in stride, new shoes loudly clacking against the pavement.

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