Tiny Crane


colette_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif elaine_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif monica_icon.gif

Scene Title Tiny Crane
Synopsis Various people in New York are finding tiny folded messages waiting for them.
Date September 07, 2010

Across New York

Gun Hill: Kaylee's Apartment

The tinny buzz of her alarm is the first thing that pulls Kaylee Thatcher from the depths of her sleeping mind. Brows furrow and she turns her face into the pillow with a groan. She really doesn't want to be up yet. A hand blindly pats at her bed side table, til her fingers touch the side of the her clock. The long fingers then climb their way to the top and push at a button that will silence the harsh sound.

Behind her is a snorting snore from the light tan puppy occupying the other side of the bed. Missy seems rather immune to the alarm and continues to sleep away, sprawled on her back, one hind leg kicking lightly at the air.

Kaylee moves to comb a curtain of blonde curls from her face, but when she draws her sleep heavy arm across the pillow it bumps into something. It crinkles?


Moving to prop herself on her elbow, she looks at the pillow and finds a little white origami crane sitting on her pillow. It takes her brain a moment to register what she was seeing. Fear, sudden and sharp, coarse though her making her freeze for a long moment. Pushing herself to sit on the edge of the bed, Kaylee looks around — head whipping around frantically to peer in darkened corners. A part of her brain swears that she'll find the assassin standing there. She sits there scanning the area around her, only feeling her neighbors, even Joseph's muffled and sleepy thoughts. It's only then she relaxes, heart still beating roughly in her chest, and focuses on the tiny crane on her pillow.

It doesn't take much for her to figure out who it is probably from, this makes the twisting in her stomach ease up just a little. Only a little, cause… why was he in her room putting things on her pillow?! That in itself is just a little alarming.

Kaylee picks up the paper bird with gentle fingers. She holds it with care in the palm of her hand and stares at it, it's poor neck a little bent from the abuse it just received. “So… I'm going guess that Hiro left you here for me?”

Almost as if answering her question, the paper crane falls on it's side, where under it she can see a hint of writing.

Seems he left her a message.

Not wanting to rip it, there is a reluctance to the way Kaylee works to unfold the origami work of art. She tests various points carefully, pulling until it finally starts to slide apart. Completely unfolded, the young blonde stares at the contents.

Her breath catches in her throat, brows tilting upward, what she sees there is worrisome.

"I guess the work isn't done."

Kaylee's gaze is drawn upward and to one side, drawn to a certain mental hum. Would he be understanding? She needed to decide if she was going to tell Joseph or not.

Jaiden's Apartment


The paper crane sits motionless on the red leather cover of the book Jaiden was reading before going to bed, it's beak pointing toward the head of the bed, wings curved in a pantomime of flight. He most certainly didn't drink the night before, and even then, Jaiden would have remembered something like that coming to rest on his book before going to bed. Inanimate objects don't necessarily appear in locked underground apartments without someone putting it there. That gives him a bit of a chill.

Rubbing his eyes with the heel of his right hand, he sits up and snatches the bit of paper from where it rests, the little crane coming to rest in the palm of his left, canted over to the left, supporting itself on one wing - faint writing evident through the thin paper. Always one to investigate, he slowly begins to unfold it, being careful not to rip or tug too terribly hard just in case there's something inside. And there is.

Jaiden scans whatever is inside. He reads the words, murmuring them to himself, committing them to memory, turning the page over to check the back, then to the front again to look.

"She will need me, huh?

The paper flutters to the comforter.

"This should be interesting."

A picture of a woman is printed on the paper, the image from some public appearance. Blonde and tall with a Military bearing.

A woman well known to Jaiden.

Hamilton Heights Apartments: Monica's Apartment

Sometimes… it is very late when Monica Dawson makes it home. Curfew or no curfew. It's a habit she picked up during her days as St. Joan, hopping rooftops and just… looking out for the city. Slipping in through the window that looks over the alley between her room and the next building over, she enters her apartment without letting the neighbors know she stays out so late. Just in case.

And this night, when she drops onto her bed to pull off her shoes, a glance toward the pillow makes her jump just a little.

But it's not an intruder, only the remnants of one.

Monica's fingers pick the paper crane up gently to drop it in her palm. It's pretty. So pretty, it's a shame to unfold it. But what the heck is a paper crane doing here if it's not supposed to be unfolded, huh? It's certainly not a method of communication she's used to, but what she is used to is that truth is stranger than fiction.

A frown crosses her face when she gets to the message printed with, her brow furrow with worry and concern. Getting dressed for bed is forgotten for the moment, especially considering that she's not going to be able to sleep now, and she folds the paper up again, tucking it into a pocket. Her shoes get tugged back on next, and she moves to slip right back out of her window again.

She needs to think this over.

She needs to move.

She needs to run.

Siann Hall: Elaine and Magnes' Apartment

She blinked.

Elaine's first thought upon waking up would be the myriad of things she needed to do. But today, there was a curiosity staring at her from the nightstand. Strange. She moves carefully, deft fingertips snagging the tiny creature without stirring the sleeping Magnes beside her. With quiet fingers, she unfolds the crane, careful, so she can remember how to fold it back up afterward. The picture causes a smile on the redhead's lips, but then a lump in her throat.

There were words. And these weren't from the one in the picture. No, they were a warning, a calling, a cry for help. She was in need of help.

Quietly, Elaine slipped out of bed, the tiny paper creature held to her chest. Magnes wouldn't stir, he was exhausted and had no reason to worry why she was getting up. Even still, she murmurs something about getting ready for work, and disappeared from the bedroom. No, this wasn't something she was going to talk to him about. No.

This was personal.

Old Dispensary: Eileen's Room

The little bird is stiff between Eileen's fingers. It isn't dead, but paper; the edge of her thumb follows its wing and dimples skin at the point. She knows what it is without having to rely on the eyes of the old raven perched on her shoulder, combing through her hair with its dagger beak. Folded something similar for the man she loves, once. That offering, like this one, had contained a message.

The handwriting doesn't belong to Gabriel.

Bran turns an ophidian eye toward the journal on the nightstand, open to the page the crane slipped from when she'd picked it up with the intention of sealing it under the floorboards of her bedroom for safekeeping. Or as he'd said: lay down flowers and walk away.

The universe has a cruel sense of timing.

Lips purse, and the raven presses beak to mouth in a gesture that's entirely human and one he would not be able to understand if it wasn't for his sensitivity toward her emotions, or hers toward his. He knows what it means, has watched her do it with the Big Man so many times since she taught him that he's intensely aware of what it means to be jealous, too.

"I'm sorry you have to stay," she murmurs against the top of his head, then. "You know I'd bring you with me if I could."

Alley Cat Courier Service, Bronx


It's too early in the morning for this. The managerial frustrations are coming from a wiry Italian man leaning through a service window in the chain-link caging dividing the fire-house floor from the shipping containment area. Anthony Potenza is a high-strung man, especially in the early morning hours when there's only a handful of couriers on call to harass.

"I figured when we had that company meeting and I said no personal deliveries you might have realized I meant no personal deliveries!" Clutched in one of Anthony's wagging hands is a small cardboard parcel, Sharpie marker writing on the top, packing tape sealing it shut. The source of the manager's frustrations is halfway on her way out the door, leading her dirt-bike down the concrete floor towards the open bay doors where other, more conventional, cyclists are just now coming in.

Halting her progress, Colette Nichols turns slowly to regard the man hanging out the window, his brows raised expectantly and one hand brandishing that box like a weapon. "It's not mine," Colette quietly offers against the throb of a headache behind her mis-matched eyes. That's enough to have Anthony pause, kick up one brow higher than the other and turn the box around so that it's top faces her.

"It's got your name on it Nichols." One of Anthony's eyes narrows to a squint, "No return address, suspicious parcel— this is the kind of shit that Reynold tells me to look the other way on. So either you come get your mystery box or I call in the bomb squad, 'cause maybe it's a bomb, you know? A bomb from terroris— "

"Fine," Colette snaps, exhaling a sharp sigh as she does. The teen leads her bike over to the wall beside the bay doors and flips down the kick stand, then marches back with clomping bootfalls towards where Anthony is still wagging the parcel back and forth. Fatigue is readily evident on Colette's face, darkness paints clearly beneath her eyes, partly hidden by the choppy bangs of hair long since growing out from the last time she'd had it cut.

It is her name on the package, and when Colette reaches out to take it from Anthony, she's surprised by the weightlessness of it, as if there were nothing inside it at all. One spurious look is fired up to the Italian manager, wordless in its accusation. "Hey, don't give me the stink-eye, kid. It was sitting on the shelf when I got in this morning, you know, to the locked cage? You want to be all cloak and fucking dagger, that's fine with me," he lifts up both hands and slides through the window to settle on the opposite side of the chain-link caging. "Just keep me the fuck out of it, right?"

Colette's attention stays fixed on Anthony through the caging as her brows furrow together, though as she looks back down to the box and starts to slide one thumbnail between cardboard and tape, something Anthony says has her hesitating. "Look, kid, I don't know what crawled up your ass, but you'd best kill it okay?" Looking up sharply to her manager, Colette's expression is all that much more warning. "I've had some complaints come in about your attitude, from clients and other employees."

The sour expression Colette wears melts, replaced by something more sheepish, more guilty. "W— who?" Anthony doesn't answer, just lifts his hands up and turns to walk down the length of the back room, shaking his head and rolling his shoulders, not willing to give up that information. Though what he does offer is a warning all his own.

"No amount of nice-nice from the owner is going to keep you on payroll if you keep snapping at customers, Nichols. You want this job, you gotta' stop being a prick." Sharp words that no one else has conveyed to her has Colette looking lost, her gaze falling down from Anthony's retreating back, down to the cracks in the polished concrete floor, down to the parcel she's holding between small hands.

When did she become like this? Colette can't say.

Offering one last fleeting look up to the chain-link caging, Colette exhales a sigh that blows an errant lock of black hair from her face, and as she turns away, her thumbnail starts picking at the packing tape again. Quieter footsteps takes Colette back to where her dirt bike is resting, but not directly to that vehicle, but rather the bench beside it. Settling down to sit, Colette moves one hand to pull up one leather-clad pant leg, feeling for a knife that is no longer in the sheath on her boot. It'd been so long since she and Tasha had argued about getting rid of it, that she'd forgotten that it's still lying around somewhere.

The worry that she's lost track of the knife will be saved for sleepless nights to come.

Rolling down that leg of her pants, Colette relents to the task of peeling back the packing tape by hand. Strips of cardboard fiber cling to the adhesive underside as she peels it back, then greedily slips fingers between flaps of cardboard to open up the package. The weightlessness of the box is explained by its contents, nearly all of the parcel filled with a news of shredded newspaper.

Carefully placed at the center of that nest, however, is a tiny origami crane. Brows pinching together, Colette sifts through the shredded newspaper to retrieve the crane by one wing, turning it around before setting it down on the bench beside herself. She sifts through the box, feeling for anything else that might be inside, finding nothing but the cardboard bottom. The box is set aside and the paper crane is picked up again, turned around enough that Colette can see fragments of words and writing under one wing.

It's a message.

Looking up and past where she's seated, Colette's attention shifts to the couriers coming in for morning deliveries, then out to the busy street outside, to the sound of passing cars and buses, the rumbling approach of a garbage truck, then back down to the crane. Starting between its wings, Colette begins to unfold the paper, heedless of remembering how the complicatedly folded piece of art is to go back together.

As the message and picture within begins to become revealed to her, Colette's expression shifts from curiosity to something more sharply pointed; anger. She looks up again, looking to find some snickering prankster or giggling colleague, only to find nothing. An accusing look is fired back to where Anthony was, only for Colette's mis-matched stare to convey worry as she looks back down to the photograph on the creased paper, her fingers curling against the edges with crinkling noises.

Colette Nichols is unfamiliar with the term senbazuru, the Japanese folklore of a man who folds one thousand origami cranes and is granted a wish by a crane for his dutiful work. But as she's looking at the photograph on that unfolded paper, as her hands are shaking and a fluttering sensation of anxiety is trembling beneath her breastbone.

If it takes a thousand cranes to make a wish…

…then this is just the beginning.

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