Panda concluded his business with Universal Cartography Office and headed to find some real shower, food, and company.
So many things had happened in the last couple of weeks and he needed the distraction.
He found a cozy place fitting for his needs. A corner in the shipyard where several engineers and technicians having a lunch break. Perfect. While he approached one technician stood up and greeted him “Sir, how can we help? If you are looking to…”
Panda interrupted the young man with a smile “All I am looking for is a decent company to share my packed meal and some stories”. While talking he unpacked the meat sandwiches he had with him.
“These are not synthetic, got them from Cook Depot” and added in his mind [after my initiation]
The other guys also raised their heads and one of them said loudly “Brig! Don’t let the man standing there, give him a chair will ya?”
They poured him coffee and shared his meal. Maybe they wanted to ask who he is, or why he decided to eat with them, but they just continued talking about their daily lives, gossips around the station, complains and all the chatter Panda needed to put himself to autopilot. He nodded and praised the cheap coffee but his mind was partially there.
Now he could look where he was avoiding for a long time in his mind. A distant scream echoed in his thoughts.
Nothing is final, there is always a way forward, he said to himself. And now the way forward was Legion for him. Not long ago he was considering to shut down mains in his ship, Rusty Nail, and give up on everything. He considered to suit up and walk to the geysers, maybe a part of him would float forever, just like…
He looked the other way. He looked at hope.
It was about her and it is about her. Her eyes mostly. The resemblance!
The moment he met her, he was lost in those eyes.
Why the Legion? Why?
He had asked himself many times. He knew, silly really.
He decided back then not to give up but to give all he has got to a cause. He knew that it will become his cause eventually, but now, it is the cause of Emperor Arissa Lavigny-Duval. He couldn’t protect those eyes in life before. He was alone and powerless. So she was taken from him.
He might have lost most of his soul when his love was gone, but he found the reason to keep going. Legion. Legion meant duty, dedication, and honorable companions. Let the Legion keep his soul and maybe some parts would mend.
There are good people in the universe he reminded himself, without believing in his own thoughts.
He looked at the technicians and engineers. They were talking about their families, birthdays of their daughters, allergies of their wives…
He looked from the bottom of the dark pit to the brightness of their faces. It was a long climb.
He stood up from the table, shook hands of the guys, agreed to bring some parts they needed with his next trip. And left the cheerful bunch in the shipyard.
While he walked to his ship he said to himself
A promise is a promise, I’ll see you when it’s my time Amy!