Author: Majoki

Doesn’t matter who I am. I am not the land.

I walk it. Day in day out. One footing at a time.

A footing is not a standard unit. It is determined by growth, the flora and fauna, in a defined area when it is clear nature has begun to rebalance there.

My job is to make sure that rebalancing is not disturbed. The land must mend, but I am not a healer. I’m a killer. A defender against my own kind.

We are out of balance, scales tipped far beyond the pale, and so we pay in pound upon pound of flesh. It is indeed dire, brutish, unfair. But that is where we are, and I must keep my footing, clearing it of poachers, pragmatists and, most of all, parents.

Breeding is a crime. Our time is long past. Instinctive urges and actions still gnaw at our hardened Resolve, but there are enough who know how little we matter. Which matters the most. So, we walk the land, footing to footing, armed, ready to kill any who break our Resolve.

Upon a day risen borderless grey, my path crossed the infant’s. A mewling babe tucked in a reed-woven basket set upon the worn path. This was not unheard of, but I had not crossed such a thing before. I crouched next to the creature, rustling, suckling air, still pink, still warm, wrapped against the thick dew.

Its eyes sought mine. Mine did not answer. The Resolve was clear. The child should be left to the land. The land was made for this. I was not.

I walked on, too slowly it seemed. A force stronger than the Resolve, my resolve, tugging at my heels. A heaviness outweighing every step. To turn was to tumble. Spill headlong into futurelessness. No more pictures in my head.

Except the child.

I walked it back. The footing unsure, without comment, still and grey. The land does not judge. Only my kind.

An empty basket, beating hearts, a measure of all lost. And everything to be gained.

Doesn’t matter who I am. I am not the land.

But with child, I am more than Man.