Andrei Reznik stood still for the holorecorder, holding both of his sons proudly so that he could capture this image forever.
Anastasia looked at him and smiled, “Okay, it’s done, my love.”
“You have given me two very fine sons, darling wife.” Andrei says lovingly.
“Well”, Anastasia said coyly, “we could work on giving you some more before you are redeployed.” She winked.
Andrei laughed and smiled as he set his two sons down into their cribs and began kissing her passionately.
As Andrei Reznik looked down at his son, Viktor stared back at him with sullen, teary eyes.
“Stop Crying!” Andrei yelled, and slapped Viktor across the face. “No son of mine is going to be this soft!”
“Mom would never let you do this! Why are you doing it now?” Viktor wailed.
Andrei looked at his son for just a moment with a feeling of compassion flashing in his mind. But that compassion quickly turned to grief for his wife, and hope for his son. He knew he could condition his son to become a good soldier and a good man.
And Andrei hit Viktor again.
As Andrei pulled his son’s head out of the water, he breathed a sigh of relief that he was OK. Viktor gasped for air, only to breathe in some of the water falling off of his face. He began to cough up water with every ragged breath. But, to Andrei’s relief, he was still breathing.
“Why… Are you… Doing this?” Viktor exclaimed vehemently between hacking breaths.
“You are the son of Andrei Reznik, and you will be a soldier.” He said with a look of disapproval on his face.
As Viktor looked at his father scowl at him, he began to catch his breath. Then his coughing turned into regular breathing.
Andrei hit Viktor in the gut, making him cough again. Andrei’s scowl turned into a look of pride as he shoved his son’s head back into the large bucket of water on the floor.
Andrei punches Viktor hard in the gut, making him fall to his knees. Viktor looks up at his father as he gets kneed in the side of the head. As Viktor falls with a small grunt, he keeps himself from hitting the ground by putting out his arms. Andrei kicks his son in the ribs with a sickening snap.
Viktor grunts louder, almost as if he wanted to scream. But, he did not.
“Very good!” Andrei exclaims. “Now, get up and walk to the Medics.”
Viktor picks himself up off of the floor and mumbles to himself as he begins shuffling towards the door.
“WHAT DID YOU SAY TO ME?” Andrei says angrily, yelling in Viktor’s ear.
“I said, ‘This is the seventh time this month and it’s only the fifteenth day of the cycle!’” Viktor said very directly. “He hates seeing me, because he knows he is actually going to have to work.”
Andrei gives Viktor a sharp left jab to the face and a right hook on his collarbone, followed immediately by another nauseating crack of bones breaking. “Now that lazy medic will have to work overtime.”
As Andrei steps onto the shuttle, he sees his son’s platoon walk past, out into the fighting.
The siege of Coruscant had only begun and his son was but a Private in the Imperial Army. Andrei was not worried about his son, he knew Viktor could live through nearly anything. He has made sure of that personally over the last 8 years.
His only hope for his son is that he could make a name for himself as a soldier.
The shuttle door closed as Colonel Reznik turned to brief his soldiers.
As Andrei looked down the barrel of Viktor’s Blaster Cannon, he realized how proud he was of his son.
His life flashed before his eyes in the fraction of a second it took Viktor to raise the Cannon up on his shoulder, charge it up and fire it.
A look Viktor had never seen on his father’s face touched his eyes, if but just for a second. His father was proud of him.
As Viktor pulled the trigger, blood splattered everywhere. The remainder of the tubes keeping his father alive dangled from the walls of the cell where he had been held.
Viktor remembered what his father told him, “Do not pity a man that is doomed to die. He will be dieing someday anyways.” An invisible tear formed in Viktor’s eye as he lowered his weapon.
Viktor was just glad he could give his father a Soldier’s death.