, 10:05 PM
Flashback 1: What's in a name?
Crossposted from the Short Fic Weekly Challenge thread.
6 ATC – Republic Army base on Coruscant – during Vierce's basic training
I picked up the holo in a hurry. I had some down time at the base, and I hadn't heard from my runt brother in a few weeks.
Kirsk appeared, decked out in some bizarre jacket with a one-shoulder thing I couldn't figure the use of. Kirsk was sporting new cybernetics in his cheeks. I wondered what they were for. With Kirsk, you never knew.
"Long time no see," said Kirsk, with that smooth low-key delivery he had been practicing since he was fourteen. "How are you, big brother?"
"Saving the Republic, one lap of the yard at a time," I said. "You?"
"Busy days, busy days."
Before he could continue, I broke in. "You call Mama lately? She worries."
"I'm calling her. Not to worry." Kirsk ran his hands over his slicked-back hair. "You two. Honestly. Anyway, I was checking in, because I'm a nice guy like that. Good to know basic training is letting you flex your do-gooder muscles. I literally got to rob from the rich to feed the poor yesterday. It was amazing."
"Yeah, until the rich shot me." Kirsk tapped his cheek. "Glancing blow, but it didn't fix up too well. Figured I would get some sensors put in while I was having the thing fixed up."
"He shot you in the face?"
"You robbed a guy and he shot you in the face?"
"And you think you're doing good things with your life?"
"Hey. It resulted in my feeding a starving and very pretty girl, plus ten or twenty others. I'm happy."
"Tell me you didn't kill anybody."
"Nah, you know I'm more the take-the-money-and-run type." He grinned. "Speaking of which, I have a paperwork update for you. I wanted new credentials set up before I struck out to explore the galaxy with my very own ship. You are looking at Mister Kirsk Volheis, Esquire."
Kirsk feigned worry. "Uh, which part is 'what'?"
"Volheis? You're ditching Savins? Just dropping it?"
"Relax, brother, nobody's gonna forget we're related."
"Seems to me you're anxious to forget already. Or are you telling me you really intend to come home for Summersday in your new rig with your new girl and your new face and your new name?"
"Don't be like that, Vierce."
"Don't vanish all at once, Kirsk." I rubbed my neck. "Look, change your name if you want, just...keep in touch, okay?"
"I will! No need to worry." Kirsk hesitated. "Just, uh. One question. Are you technically obligated as a soldier of goodness to turn in known criminals you happen to encounter over Summersday dinner?"
"No. Even if I were, I probably wouldn't do it."
Kirsk gasped theatrically. "And you think you're doing good things with your life?" He grinned his signature, glacier-melting grin. "Good. It'll be safe to see you. Say hi to Mama for me. Kirsk Volheis, signing out."
The holo went dormant.
I glared at it anyway. "You said you would call her yourself," I said.
Picking up after my little brother's promises: My job ever since he was old enough to talk.