Silent, statuesque, the heron bides its time along the early morning floodplain. Each lift of its sturdy legs thrums silver ripples through the cattails, alerting only the most sensitive fish to its precise, calculating presence. Across the marsh, the young surgeon cramps and sweats above his patient, the robotic arm assisting him an edifice of inhuman composure, assured and benevolent and uncomfortably, even vitally, alive. The heron lunges and misses, lunges and misses, before pausing, its eyes dead-firm, its beak slitting the water’s surface, the writhing fish consumed.




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