Inside the envelope was a four-leaf clover. And Dalton Brooks had no idea as to why.
"Pretty neat huh? Picked it up while in Africa."
And he had no idea why the redhead had been assigned to Overstrike 9, why she had given him a clover, or why on earth he wasn't looking for another agent.
"It's great…" the former merc murmured. "Really great."
"Thanks. Hope I made a good first impression."
Brooks remained silent on that one. He didn't want to lie, but there was no middle ground he could find between a lie and the truth. All he could do was lead his new teammate from the helipad and into Overstrike HQ.
Sometimes he wondered about Overstrike, or at least the people making assignments. As far as Brooks was concerned, Overstrike 9 only needed three players. Himself, Jacob and Nyah-former merc, former detective and former thief respectively. How Doctor Isabelle Sinclair fit into the mix was a mystery. She looked far too young to be a scientist, let alone an operative. And by giving him a four-leaf clover as a gift, she hadn't made a good first impression.
"So…which leaf are you then?"
Brooks glanced back at the kid as he led her through the corridors of HQ. "What?"
"The clover? Which leaf are you?"
"You don't get it, do you?"
"No," Brooks sighed, leaning against a wall. "I really don't."
The former merc felt sorry for the kid…almost. She hid it well behind her glasses, but he could see that she was slightly hurt. "Almost" however, was the key word in that line of thought. If Sinclair couldn't pull her weight, then he wasn't going to carry it.
"The four-leaf clover," she said softly. "As in, Overstrike Nine. Our team."
Brooks stared at her.
"You know, the song? How I'm looking over a four-leaf clover that I overlooked before?"
"Why would you overlook a clover?" Brooks asked.
Sinclair stared back. "You don't get out much do you?"
"Course I do. Last week I was in Russia. Two weeks ago I was in Columbia. Three weeks ago-"
"I mean…you know, cultural stuff."
"I leave that to Jacob."
Sinclair sighed. Then she looked down. Then she started rubbing her glasses.
"Look, kiddo," Brooks said. "I appreciate the gesture. But if you want to impress us, we're going to need more than leaves."
"Sure boss." Sinclair looked up and put her glasses on. "I'll keep that in mind."
"Good. Now come on. Nyah and Jacob want to meet you, and knowing Nyah, she'll want to see the clover."
"I dunno," Brooks said. "She's a girl. Girls like plants I guess."
Sinclair stared. Then she smiled.
And putting the clover in his pocket, Brooks smiled back.
This was based on a challenge, namely to write a piece beginning with the words "inside the envelope was a four-leaf clover."
Something I may as well specify is that my current take on Overstrike becoming Fuse (rants aside) is that the events of Overstrike take place prior to Fuse, being in the same universe with the same characters. Kind of fanwanky, but hey, inclusionists have to take the hands they're dealt. :)