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08.14.2012 , 07:49 PM |
The Name You're Born With
BH/JK - Skari and Esma (no spoilers)
Maru'bri'ishna. That's what the Ascendancy called her.
Ubrii. That's what her tutors called her.
Bri. That's what her parents called her.
That Chiss was dead. Had been dead for many years. A female with her DNA walked, spoke, ate, occasionally laughed, but she was not Maru'bri'ishna, nor Ubrii, and certainly not Bri. She did not live under the rule of the Ascendancy. She did not have tutors, eat fine dinners, chat with the children of politicians. She did not have a parents.
Askari Ma'grav. That's what the Empire called her.
Bounty Hunter. That's what her employers called her.
Skari. That's what her all too few friends called her.
The Chiss that went by these names was alive. One who never backed down. One who took the hard jobs and found a way to walk away again. One who fought to keep people at a distance...and failed too often.
Skari ran a fingertip around the lip of the glass in front of her, watching the door of the Slippery Slope from her vantage point in the corner. Her finger stopped as a female Chiss walked in. She was tall, lean, like herself, with an easy grace to her stride. She scanned the room and then turned unerringly and met Skari's eyes. Her expression was more open than Skari's; her face unmarred by the scars of a life too dangerous for most to survive. The Chiss walked across the room, to the table where Skari sat. The tightness in Skari's chest added to the stress that flattened her lips.
"Hello sister," the newcomer said, a smile hovering on her lips although her expression was wary, unsure of her welcome.
Skari leaned back and tried to smile. "Hey Esma," she said, gesturing for her sister to sit.
"Thanks for agreeing to meet me. Sorry I'm late. Got delayed by some business in the Nikto sector." Esma said, sitting down, at ease with her back to the room in a way Skari never would be.
Skari shrugged. "It's no big deal."
"I have some questions, if you don't mind."
"Questions?" Skari asked.
"What were our parents like?"
Skari picked up her glass and took a drink, thinking over the question. "Impulsive. Well, by Chiss standards anyway. And more concerned with smiles than family accomplishment. In other words, they were nuts." She grinned.
"I don't suppose you have any of those character traits?" Esma asked with a grin.
"Me? Nah," Skari said with sarcasm dripping from her tone, "You?"
"Let's just say the Jedi Order and I don't always agree," Esma said with a small smile.
"I guess the Maru family has a streak of rebel in them," Skari said with a salute of her glass.
"Our family name was Maru? Are there any members left?"
Skari shrugged. "I think we still have some cousins back in the Ascendancy."
"This feels strange to even ask it," Esma said with an awkward grimace, "but what was my name?"
Skari looked past Esma, her eyes unfocused. "Maru'kai. We called you Kai. You were just starting to talk, but you weren't old enough for the last part of your name yet."
"Kai." Esma tried it out, but it didn't sound right in Skari's ears. That name was for a different person than the one who sat in this cantina in Nar Shaddaa with lightsabers on her belt.
Esma glanced down at her wrist unit. "Blast it! I told Scourge I'd be back by now! The man's going to start systematically tearing the place apart."
"Scourge? Odd name."
Esma chuckled. "You have no idea. I'll tell you about him sometime. Same time next week?"
"It's a deal."
"Could I...could I call you Ri?" Esma asked as she stood to go. Skari froze. "I don't know why, but it just sounds right in my head."
Skari let out a breath. "I...yeah, you can call me Ri," she finally said.
"Are you sure that's okay?"
"Yeah, it's cool," Skari said with a shrug, fighting for nonchalance.
"Okay then," Esma said slowly with a nod, "I'll see you later."
Skari nodded tersely and then took a drink as her little sister walked away.
"That's what Kai called me," Skari whispered to herself.
My original plan was for Esma's given name to be Jana. I thought it was pretty. And then I wrote it down with their family name...Maru'jana..../facepalm
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