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Originally posted to [livejournal.com profile] 20weeks
Title: Revisions of a Life
Author: jebbypal
Character: Book
Rating: E - everyone
Spoilers and Warnings: None for any specific episode
Wordcount: 530
thanks to [livejournal.com profile] luridmuse for the first read. All mistakes are my own.
a/n: seems like every time I get an idea, a new challenge gets issued. *smiles* at least I'm not too late this time.


Childhood was in the past. It wasn't something that his mind lingered on overmuch. The crimes of the recent past weighed more heavily on his soul than the frivolous transgressions of youth. Still, sometimes his thoughts returned to the past.

His parents had never been overly religious. Their piety was reserved for earthly offices and recognition rather than the Almighty. To them, enlightenment was proven through advancement in society. They deemed the military a noble calling. The chance to rise through the ranks, opportunities for positions of true power in the military, and perhaps even in Alliance government once his tour was over. All respectable goals to work towards. He had agreed with them when he'd been accepted into the Alliance Military Academy for college.

The realities of war had a way of making one reevaluate their choices and paths taken during peacetime. This mid-life crisis, as his parents termed it when he was released from active duty, is what took him to the monastery in the first place.

His uncle had entered the Brotherhood of Shepherds when Book was still in short pants. Almost everyone in the family had rolled their eyes at the free spirit of the family. Bets were placed at family gatherings as to how long Uncle Ben would last without the comforts of civilization. No one had collected any money though. Uncle Ben never returned to the core.

Instead, he'd invited Book to visit him at the monastery before his nephew started at the Alliance Military Academy. His parents had left the invitation up to him, but hadn't encouraged the visit. The chance to spite them while getting the chance to visit one of the inner Rim worlds was too much to resist, Book accepted the invitation and went to see the man who, ten years ago, had been his favorite uncle.

He'd been miserable for the most part. A monastery is a very boring place for a seventeen year old. But the visit was only for two weeks, so he persevered. Later he was glad. During the savagery of war, he appreciated having those two weeks of peace and simplicity to reflect on. His uncle's message of a higher power that cared for everyone started to ring true even as Book's disillusionment with his government's ideals grew.

After Serenity Valley, he was devastated to learn that his uncle had died during the last months of the war. Supply lines had been compromised and medicines hadn't reached the monastery. His uncle, the only kind-hearted and free-spirited member of his entire family, had passed away from a simple case of pneumonia that could have been easily cured.

It was the final straw. His family was alien now; everyone wanted him to transform back into who he'd been before. Book didn't know who that person was anymore. He didn't want to become him either. Instead, he returned to the last place that someone had asked him to consider he wanted out of life and how he wanted to be remembered. He went back to the monastery.

A few months later, he took a new name. Book. In a way, his uncle's invitation had birthed a new nephew.

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