Disclaimer: Characters are all mine, December 2006 © MBInc. This is a work of fiction. Names, places and incidents are made up or used fictitiously.
Author's Note: This is my very first try out of my safe harbor of CSI fanfiction. Feedback is very much appreciated and can be sent to email@example.com.
Thanks to: Erica, my beta, for improving my writing. And Uriel for her Canada/Air Force knowledge.
Flight of the Falcon
August 1944- the war had been going on for about 5 years already, the Nazis were losing ground as the Allied Forces were battling their way through the occupied areas. But the Allied Forces' fight wasn't over yet.
From England to America, France to Canada, new people still joined the Allied Forces in the war against the Nazis. Young men, and even women, were called up to join at the front, as soldiers, pilots, or nurses, all offering their life for freedom.
One of these persons who had recently wanted to join was Alexandra Savage. Now aged 22, Alexandra had set her mind on leaving her place of birth, Charleswood, Manitoba, to fight on the other side of the world. She hoped to be recruited as a member of the RCAF, the Royal Canadian Air Force.
All afternoon, her older brother, Andrew, had been arguing with her about this –as he called it- stupid plan.
"No, Andrew. I'm going, I'll be fine," Alex said, dark hair framing her serious looking face, even darker eyes staring at the young man.
"No, you won't. You'll be dead even before you reach London," Andrew replied, a hand going through his thick, short hair –the same dark color as his sister's.
"As if you going off to war is any different!" the dark-haired woman said as she took a step towards her brother. "You won't even make it through the physical exams with those…those," she spat in his face while jabbing her index finger in his chest.
"Two weeks, Alex, two entire weeks since it happened last," Andrew answered calmly, his hand showing two fingers to emphasize his words.
"That doesn't say it won't happen again. You want to endanger even more people than necessary just because you want to ignore all the signs?"
"At least I will be able to help. You don't really think they would let you, a woman, fly a plane across the Atlantic, do you? Women don't go to the fronts to fight. You'll end up as a nurse, that is, if they even send you abroad."
"This isn't about whether a man is a better fighter than a woman," Alex got even closer to her brother's face, her body boiling from all the anger that built up inside, "it's about a person's willingness to give their life for peace and freedom."
"Still, you're not going. I'm the man of the house now, and I'm telling you you're staying," he said and pointed his thumb to his chest before continuing, "I'm going."
"I can't, I've already signed up, and dad always told me-"
"Dad's dead, and so are you if you keep this stubborn act going," the oldest Savage interrupted, sighing tiredly as he walked away from his sister and sat his lanky body down on a chair at the kitchen table.
"I can't stay at home. They'll see me as a deserter," Alex replied. "Besides, why should I stay here? There's no need for me to stick around?"
"What about me, Alex? Don't I count as a reason for you to stay?"
"Ha," she huffed sarcastically, "right, as in you go off to war, leaving me and you fiancé behind? You don't need me, you've got Claire."
"I'm sorry, Alex," he bent his head, avoiding his sister's eyes. He knew there was a truth in the words of his sister. He would soon be leaving their home as well, either off to fight for the Allies or starting a new home with his fiancé, Claire.
"It's just," she started as she walked over to him, placing a hand on his shoulder, "I want to do this to make him proud."
Andrew kept quiet, not knowing what more say to his sister.
Letting out a huff of breath, Alex left the kitchen and headed out the backdoor, walking over to the apple tree at the back of the garden. She sat down against the tree, stretching her long legs in front of her as one of her hands absentmindedly found its way through her long, dark hair. The rain that had fallen that morning was long gone and the clouds had vanished as Alex looked up into the darkness of the night, the sky shattered with pinpoint-sized lights of stars.
Her brother's words made her think back to about half a year ago when their father, Michael, had died: On his deathbed he had made both of his children promise to make something of their lives, to do what they dreamed of –what they always had been wanting to do- so that he could be proud of his children.
Both of the Savage children had always been persons striving to keep their honorable intentions, wanting to dedicate their lives to a worthy cause. Even then, both Alex and Andrew had wanted to sign up for serving in the RCAF, but after their father's death Andrew had fallen ill, and their plans to serve along with the Allies were postponed.
Andrew's illness started out as an innocent cold, turned into a full-blown pneumonia, and after getting through the worst of that, he contracted an unknown virus which caused him to have complete blackouts every now and then. Only in the last few weeks has his health started to improve.
But now the Canadian government had initiated conscription, and he had been enlisted. Andrew's mind had been set on going, earning money for his future plans of building up a family with Claire.
Alex' hopes for the future had been different from those of her brother.
For a long time Alex had been restless and felt as if she was not where she belonged. Being the only woman in the Savage household for nearly her entire life –her mother dying when she was only 3 years old- didn't make this remotely easier on her. Growing up, the dark-haired girl already sensed that there was something the matter with her, something she still couldn't quite put her finger on. She thought it all was the result of growing up without her mother, without receiving the love of a mother.
And now, at age 22, she felt as if her life was heading down a dead-end street. However, even though her own world, as well as the world around her, was in turmoil, she saw the light of the star –the light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Therefore, her wish was to get out of the dark and out of Charleswood. To see something of the world –hopeful to finally find a place where she would discover her true self, a place she could come to call home.
Looking back at the kitchen window, she saw the slumped silhouette of her brother. His health had her worried, and his stubbornness of wanting to go to Winnipeg and fly for the RCAF even more. And to top that off, he would be leaving his fiancé, Claire, behind. Although his intentions were honorable, Alex knew he would leave everything behind –his life, his future, his family- where she herself felt that she had nothing to stay at home for.
"I can't let him go," she muttered to herself, grabbing an apple lying nearby in the grass.
Her eyes found the dark sky once again, searching for the constellations she knew by heart –first eying Ursa Major and then moving on to Andromeda. As Alex took a bite from the apple she noticed a shooting star passing by Cassiopeia. Never being one to believe in wishing upon a star, Alex, however, let her thoughts formulate the hopes for her brother staying at home while she herself could get out there, taking Andrew's place.
The star long gone from the sky, the young Canadian woman let out a sigh and closed her eyes. A shiver ran down her spine as she noticed how cold it actually had gotten. Alex stood up, threw the remnants of her apple away, and headed for the house again.
As she opened the door to get inside, Alex noticed everything was dark, the only light coming from the moon behind her. Andrew has probably gone upstairs, she thought as she closed and locked the door.
The tall woman walked down the hall towards the stairs –a gleam of moonlight revealing the clock, reading eleven-thirty. Climbing up the stairs she headed for her bedroom. As she passed Andrew's bedroom, her thoughts returned to their argument again.
She felt she should be the one leave everything behind –her 'everything' being hardly anything worth mentioning. Sure, she loved her brother dearly, but since he and Claire had started dating –and especially after they had been engaged about three weeks ago- Alex felt left alone. Her house was not her home anymore, and the dark-haired woman thought that leaving now was the only opportunity she would have to find a place where she could try to find herself again.
A big sigh escaped her throat as she entered her bedroom and closed the door behind her. Walking over to her bed, she sat down, closed her eyes and pinched the bridge of her nose. Her mind was getting tired of all this thinking, arguing, and reminiscing.
Her eyes opened again and fell on the picture of her family, a picture taken years ago, when she had been almost 3 years old. Her mother –who she had never really known, and didn't think of often, her father, who had tried his best at raising two little children after their mother had died, and her brother –the apple of her father's eye.
However, even though Andrew had always been favored by their father, he never treated his kid sister any different. He was really good at his role as older, protective brother.
Well, at least he tried. Not that I needed him anyway, the dark-haired young woman thought, a smirk coming onto her face as the memory of fights fought on the streets with some of the neighborhood kids filled her mind.
Andrew had always been there for her, and now she would be there for him. Alex decided then and there she would take his place. She also knew she had to act quickly if she wanted to make this work, considering the fact that Andrew would be leaving two days later.
She would leave the next morning. Andrew would be out anyway, he had told her already he was going to Claire's for the day. So, this would give her the opportunity to leave without her brother being there to stop her.
The prospect of her going off to war didn't scare her, the idea of being the only one left at a place that didn't feel like her home anymore did scare her.
So, her 'escape' was planned for the next morning. As soon as Andrew would head out to Claire's, Alex would grab her stuff and head off –making sure her brother would have no chance to talk her out of this –what he would probably call crazy idea.
She would leave her house, hoping to find a place she could call home.
And with that last thought in her mind, she fell asleep.
It was five o' clock when Alex got out of bed and opened the curtains. The sun had nearly wiped away all the remnants of night and as she opened the window the cool morning breeze carried birds' twittering into her small bedroom.
Looking out onto the street in front of the house she saw old man Scott and his dog.
Each and every day Scott would pass Alex' house on his way to Red River, always carrying the same belongings –his fishing rod, a box filled with all sorts of hooks and bait, and a backpack, his dog scurrying through the bushes until he heard his master's whistle, then running quickly to catch up with the gray-haired man.
"Morning, Mr. Scott," Alex called from her window.
"Good morning, Alexandra," the small, pudgy man nodded acknowledging her as he stopped at the front garden's hedge.
Alex smirked a little. Of all the people she knew, Scott was the most persistent in calling her by her full name.
"How many times do I have to tell you to call me Alex. You know I hate it when people call me..."
"You should not hate it," Scott said, "for it means protector of men. A noble name if I may say so. But if you insist…" He smiled once more, tipped his green fisher's hat, and headed off.
"Have a good catch!" Alex called after him.
The gray-haired man stopped and turned around to face the young woman as he spoke once more, "And you, have a good life."
As he was about turn back his mind seemed to wander off, and before he finally turned he added, "But watch out for the falling bird."
With that said he disappeared into the streets, his whistle the only evidence he had actually been there.
Old man Scott's cryptic words were still going through Alex' mind as she washed and dressed herself.
"A falling bird, yeah right," she said, a little huffed laugh escaping her throat as she heard the dog's barking mingling with the waking city's sounds.
Throughout town, old man Scott was known for his cryptic messages –some of the town's people calling him a prophet, others calling him plain crazy.
Alex, not being one of the latter persons, had often spoken with the old man and found that he wasn't crazy at all. Nevertheless, she also didn't belong to the group that thought he was some kind of prophet; he just had an odd way of looking at things.
The times she had joined him on one of his fishing trips she had learned he somehow knew of important events that were bound to happen –even before the first rays of light touched upon the idea of the happening.
She realized he already knew she was leaving Charleswood –or better: fleeing, flying away…like a bird.
"Maybe that's what he means…" Alex argued with herself as she opened her closet and grabbed some clothes.
Turning around the tall, dark-haired woman threw them on her bed. She then kneeled down beside her bed and reached for the duffle bag underneath it.
"But then, why would the bird fall?" she suddenly said. However, her further reverie was interrupted as she heard her brother's footsteps going down the stairs.
Throwing the duffle bag onto the bed, Alex jumped to her feet and headed after Andrew.
As she entered the kitchen, she was met by the smell of bacon and eggs.
"Going to Claire's today?" the youngest Savage asked as she snatched a piece of toast and took a seat at the kitchen table. She already knew what her brother's answer would be, but she had to make sure he didn't suddenly have a change of plans.
"And a good morning to you too," Andrew said, his back still towards Alex as he filled two mugs with coffee.
"Yeah, yeah. Morning. So?" She asked a little impatiently.
Andrew placed the mug in front of her and sat down across her. "We're going to spend the day at the river, fishing, picnicking, relaxing. Just enjoying ourselves before I…" He didn't finish his sentence and started at his hands clutched around the mug of steaming liquid.
"You want to come along?" He asked as he finally looked up to meet her eyes after a few minutes of silence.
Alex smiled at him halfheartedly while shaking her head. "I think you'll regret you asked once you pick Claire up. I'd only be in your way."
"Of course not," Andrew said.
Alex averted her eyes, not wanting to see her brother's pity for her. Leaving her chair she grabbed her now empty mug and walked over to the kitchen counter. Even though she had her back turned towards her brother she could sense his hesitation on what to do.
"Listen, about yesterday." But before he could continue, Alex interrupted him. "I don't want to talk about it anymore. You go and have fun today. Say hi to Claire from me."
"I will," Andrew said as he grabbed his jacket. As he passed his sister he gently squeezed her shoulder. "I'll see you later."
As he reached the door, she was torn between calling after him and letting him walk out of there, out of her life.
"Goodbye, Andrew," Alex whispered, a single tear finding its path down her cheek as she closed the door after him.
Continued in chapter two
Return to the Academy