Rise of Glie Chapter 48
Previous: Rise of Glie Chapter 47: A Number of Stones
FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie
Chapter 48: A New Rule
Bread crumbs and millet seeds are the favorite of the smallest birds. Little sparrows, finches, budgies, canaries, all getting along. The biggest among the birds surrounding Kiniiri are pigeons. There are all sorts of colors and varieties. The pigeons alone come in patterns that make them look like turtle doves, rock doves, urbanites, turkeys, and magpies. [The author has observed this variety himself in Calgary, and named these patterns; the magpie pattern pigeon can't be confused with a real magpie, a corvid with some white feathers on its wingtips, the pigeon's voice, habits, diet, and shape are totally different.]
"Oh," Fushoku says with amazement as he approaches. The birds are so tame that they have no qualms about alighting on Kiniiri himself. "Where's Taka?" Fushoku asks.
The dark haired boy answers, "Over by the barbecue," with a slight nod of his head. The nod is enough to scare the little birds and many fly up to the branches of the nearby trees until the movements of the great (to them) haibane slow to harmlessness once again.
"What are they doing here?" Fushoku points at two crows perched on the mid branches of a twelve foot tall tree.
"Talking to each other with their feet," Kiniiri says, "I think its something like what the Toga do with their hands. It's a very lively conversation from what I can tell."
"What are they saying?" Fushoku asks. The crows have stopped and seem rather nervous.
"I have no idea," Kiniiri laughs, "I don't know the language, nor that of the Toga."
It is very quiet, on the ground at least, where the cheerful sounding little birds overpower the somber breathing of the haibane boys.
"Good thing he likes us," signs King.
"He would make a very good spy," Wally signs back with a cock of his head.
"Did you know the real James Bond was a bird watcher?" King asks rhetorically. [It's true, Ian Fleming named his famous fictional agent after a real-life ornithologist whose book I found at the Calgary Public Library!]
Prime real estate for the budgies seems to be Kiniiri's halo. Two hang onto the unsteady ring to preen their wings and sharpen their bills.
"I hope they don't drop any guano in my hair," Kiniiri whispers.
"I think they're happy to have a friend who won't throw fireballs at them," Fushoku says.
"Fireballs?" Kiniiri whispers.
"You saw this morning, didn't you?" Fushoku asks.
"They hate birds, haibane, anything with feathers," Taka whispers, startling Fushoku, who in turn, startles all the little birds. "Oh, dessert," he offers Fushoku and Kiniiri small squares from the barbecue stand.
"They?" Fushoku asks.
"Those outside," Taka clarifies, "What happened this morning?"
"One of them snuck in," Kiniiri says, "but Washi killed it, so it's okay now."
Taka smiles, "Good."
"They really do throw fireballs, just like you said," Kiniiri whispers, "It hit Washi, that's why his wings were broken."
The birds slowly return to the trio, who hold still to welcome them.
"Michael was there too," Kiniiri whispers even more softly.
"Michael?" Fushoku asks.
Taka is even more shocked. After a pause, he says, "Well, if the four hate us, it shouldn't be a surprise that Michael would get involved personally. Glie is all that's left, after all."
"Who's Michael?" Fushoku asks.
"The archangel; the Saviour's general. He held down the monster by her shoulders until Washi killed her," Kiniiri explains.
"I didn't see anything like that," Fushoku says.
"Lucky you," Taka whines at Kiniiri, "You get to see him in person."
"Only fair!" Kiniiri retorts, "You get all the dreams."
"Okay, okay, you two," Fushoku moderates the two adolescents, "I'm the jealous one here."
"Right," Taka humphs, crossing his arms and sticking out his lip.
The birds seem to think that's an invitation, and about fifty sparrows fly up and land on him.
"See," Fushoku whispers, "I told you you'd get used to it." He then starts eating his dessert, "Hmm... Crystal!" he exclaims, "No wonder they want her to run the west end bakery!" Fushoku runs off to see if he can get a couple more squares.
"Hey kid," King signs at Kiniiri with his feet, "Would you mind telling Washi all that?"
"What's up with them?" Taka asks, nodding at the pair of crows.
"Beats me," Kiniiri says, "They were diving on the monster before Washi noticed her. I wish I could understand them."
"Me too," Taka says, "It looks like they're trying to tell you something with their feet."
"Dang," Wally signs to King, somewhat dejected, "Oh well."
"I think it's funny as hell," Wally signs, then flies off.
"Hell?" King signs, even though no one who can understand him is watching, "There's nothing funny about hell." He too, then flies off.
After a minute, Kiniiri says to Taka, "I think you should tell the Communicator about the dreams you've been having. He won't think you're crazy, I'm sure."
"How can you be so sure?" Taka asks; the birds perched on him don't seem to detect the obvious annoyance in his tone of voice. "I'm just a kid, and they're just dreams."
"Tell them that," he gestures to the tree full of budgies and pigeons before walking away, dropping the uneaten half of his dessert square. "This is good, I'll see if I can find you guys another one."
A sparrow picks up the comparatively huge piece of caramel cake and carries over to the trunk of the tree, followed by over a dozen other sparrows interested in getting a taste of Crystal's dessert.
"He's right," Taka whispers, "isn't he?" He drops a few unrolled oats from his hand.
Finches and budgies so adept at shelling such things come and thresh this tiny portion of Glie's harvest with their own great skill and character.
"I'm just trying to hide from this job God has given me," he says.
Before he moves, the birds seem to sense that their haibane master is done with them for the day and fly off.
Taka marches all the way to the Temple, braving the new "catwalk" path, now wide enough to use without a harness.
Tiindare won't let him into the Temple, so he sits in front of the door and waits. As the sun nears the top of the wall to the west, and he's contemplates returning to Old Home and trying again tomorrow, a crow alights on the grass beside his feet.
"No more food for today," he snorts.
The crow lifts a foot and forms several gestures with it.
"I wish I could understand," he whispers quietly.
"Understand what?" the old man's voice startles Taka.
Taka turns, jumps to his feet, noticing now that the Communicator is returning from his errands. Taka must have beat him to the Temple by several hours. "What he says with his feet," the blonde boy says boldly, "Sir, we need to talk. I've been getting these dreams, and I think they're about Glie's future."
"Glie's future, you say?" Washi inquires, "I was wondering how many flocks of birds would arrive before you decided to come here. I've told Old Home you'll be late."
"First," he says, "There needs to be a new rule right away."
"Really?" the Communicator asks.
"No one may touch the wall any more," Taka sobs, "It's poisonous."
Behind the mask, Bangou is shocked out of her senses. Only that morning, she had detected an inorganic form of delta vector the control systems are unable to convert into hikarinium. It'll still be several years before it rises to the interior grade level of the wall and becomes dangerous to anyone touching it from inside Glie, but she already knows the time is coming when anyone touching or entering the wall without the Defender uniform will receive a lethal dose of delta radiation in mere seconds.
Next: Rise of Glie Chapter 49: Touchy Topics