It’s been five years, exactly, since they last spoke face to face. There on the boardwalk of Vox’s largest city, in the warmth of a sea breeze, lost together in the murmuring wave of the most patriotic of revelers.
“It’s heavy is what it is,” the veteran’s voice trailed away and he thought about how unfair it all was. What a miserable responsibility to give to someone so young. He sipped at his drink, a glowing concoction of red and blue. A little umbrella with the colors of the Diasporan flag. Very patriotic. And Quintin- no Jerboa, now his name was Jerboa, he reminded himself. He mirrored the actions of his role model. Eyes wide as the alcohol touched his young tongue.
“But don’t worry, little man, you can carry that weight.”
“And hey, you got a good one, Detachment is... it’s like a falcon.”
“Oh a, uh, falcon it’s a bird, a big bird, wide wings,” he gestured. His arms stretched out, his body menacing and beautiful. The tourists on the boardwalk automatically cleared space for him without knowing why, whistling their nationalistic hymns, “sharp talons, incredible speed, a fierce hunger.”
Fireworks blossomed above them, punctuating this metaphor. Jerboa tilted his head under the erratic light, “If Detachment is a falcon, then what's Righteousness?”
Ibex resisted the mechanistic urge to bite his tongue, “Oh Quentin,” he ran his hand down his little brother’s fresh fade, “it’s a vulture, man. It’s a fucking vulture.”