Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Ficlet: Aliases

For last week's b7friday topic of ethnicity, 500 words, set PGP.


While they were waiting for the shuttle, Vila pulled out his new passport, made by Avalon’s people for him, and looked at it. "Hello, I'm Sven Lassiter," he said brightly to Soolin beside him. "Who're you?"

"The same person I've always been," she said, then put her head on one side, smirking slightly. "You chose that name?"

"Yeah, had it for years. I always liked the name Sven since I read it in a book when I was a kid. My mum said my father came from some European dome--he was called Vila too, you know--and the name Sven came from around the same area. As for Lassiter, I once robbed an art-collector called that. Liked the sound of it--classy but not too flashy, so I set up bank accounts under it. Thought I might need it one day, but I never got the chance till now. Still, he's got a history going back more than ten years, old Sven Lassiter. Why d’you ask?" He grinned at Soolin, eyes suddenly twinkling.

"Are you aware it's an--"

"Not quite, it isn't. And believe it or not, it was an accident. I liked the sound of it, and it wasn't till I read somewhere that people often choose anagrams for aliases, I realised I'd almost done it. Too late by then, and anyway it's got a couple of extra letters and not enough of others. Still," Vila pulled a face, "funny, isn't it? Suppose I didn't want to stop being me underneath it all..."

He steeled himself for the inevitable insult, but Soolin just said quietly, "I can understand that," and handed him her passport.

"Liese Sauerland?"

Soolin said nothing, but Vila saw a slight wince.

"That's your real name, isn't it? The 'Liese', I mean. It suits you. It's pretty."

Soolin's face hardened. "It belongs in the past, Vila. I'm Soolin now."

"And the Sauerland?" Vila asked tentatively. "You chose that because it's a bit like Soolin?"

"It's the other way round." Soolin reached for her passport and put it away. "A couple of centuries ago, my ancestors left Essendome on Earth and went to Darlon 4. It's one of the Han planets, agricultural, and they needed farm labourers and it was a good way to get assisted passage. The Han couldn't say 'Sauerland', so it got changed to Soolin. They wouldn't let outsiders own land, even after generations, so my family worked hard and saved and saved and bought their passage off there when I was little, and, " her voice hardened," bought the farm as they say."

She was silent, and Vila understood. "On Gauda Prime," he said softly.


Vila wasn't sure what to say, but he knew Soolin wouldn't have told many people. "Look, Liese's a beautiful name--"

"Vila," Soolin said warningly.

"--but I don't think I could think of you as anything but Soolin."

"Good." Soolin gave Vila a sudden warm smile as they got up to board the shuttle.

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