Nico (vilakins) wrote,

Ficlet: Nobody Special

This was written for the old friends/acquaintances b7friday challenge way back in July, and never cross-posted here. Around 500 words set PGP.

Nobody Special

Til Morgen left the freight agent's office, pleased. That had been a very lucrative run and he could afford to stay here for a few weeks and play tourist. He strolled towards the waterfront where the better hotels were, looking forward to some good food, wine, and a soft bed.


Til's smile slipped, but he continued walking. Probably some other Vila altogether.

"Vila Restal!"

Til stopped and turned, his hand near his gun. "You're mistaken. The name's Til." And the rest is just as forgettable.

"Oh, come on, Vila. It's me, Stev! Stev Faris from good old Delta 6073, remember? Best days of our lives, as they say."

"As they lie, you mean." Bloody hell, it really was Stev, red hair and sticking-out ears and all. Except twice the size. "And don't call me that." If he never heard that name again, he'd be glad. It only reminded him of how they'd said it and he didn't want to remember that.

"Can't believe it's you. You got any idea how much--"

Vila grabbed Stev's arm. "All right, all right, just don't make a scene. Look, let's go in that pub where it's nice and noisy and no one can hear us."

Stev nodded eagerly. "Sounds great. But I'm buying, mate."

"Here you go." Stev put a tray of beer and hot food on the table. "You're a hero, you know," he said, sitting down in the dark corner Vila had chosen.

"No I'm not. Nothing special about me," Vila said bitterly.

"You're joking." Stev leaned forward and lowered his voice. "One of the Seven?" His eyes shone with admiration.

Vila shook his head. "Look, I wasn't a rebel. I wasn't brave. I wasn't a hero. I wasn't anything special." Vila knocked his beer back and wiped his mouth.

"Yes, you were. You were one of them. Defender of the galaxy, holder of the line."

That bit was true, Vila supposed. "It was my finger on the firing button, yeah," he conceded, "but it might as well have been anyone else's. And you know what? I don't think it would've made a blind bit of difference if I'd left right after that." He finished his glass and refilled it. "Only thing I was any good at was being a thief." Not even that anymore for fear they'd trace him. "And there wasn't a lot of call for it."

Stev waved his hand. "Yeah, yeah, no lock you couldn't get through. That's not it, though. Look, you remember Jain and Linzi and Harl? We got away from earth and the Delta levels and the rest of it, went out on an asteroid mining crew and made enough to start new lives. And you know why? Not because you were a thief or a rebel but because you were one of us, just an ordinary person who did something that really mattered. And if you could, so could we. Yes, you're bloody well someone special to us, mate."

Til Morgen left the pub and headed towards the spaceport. It was safest now he'd been recognised, and he'd never be able to come back here again, damn it. All the same, Til Morgen walked a little taller and felt a bit better about who he'd once been.

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