[Planet Central - Armeanian Empire]
Lt. Joxxer Halleck swung his naval issue duffle bag of dull blue and tan over his shoulder and walked toward the observation platform's railing.
A woman on the left clung to her son's hand, while trying to manage a pair of oversized bags. From the look of her drab dress and shoes, and her son's slack jaw expression as he took in the surrounding hubbub of the Imperial Center Space Port, Joxxer surmised they probably weren't natives of Central, and were probably catching an outbound liner to the middle territories or even the rim. As he passed by the two, Joxxer nodded, tilting his uniform hat to the woman. She managed an awkward smile as she handed one of her two bags to a baggage clerk, who quickly scanned it and then set it down with an up-turned nose.
Joxxer smiled at the sight as he approached the edge of the terminal. With a sigh he reclined against the railing, looking out at the view of the busy space port traffic, then consented to check his watch.
"Damn it Lightner" He mused to himself as he turned, resting his back against the railing and setting his duffle bag down beside him.
He looked again at the sight of the modest women and child that didn't belong in the middle of the high-tech, posh urban backdrop of Imperial Center. He thought to himself that he really was no different; a native born Axian and junior office in the Republic's Navy was perhaps a slightly more common sight on Central, but still a novelty nonetheless.
Joxxer checked his watch again and then turned as a bulky Imperial Liner lifted into the air on it's conventional drives and then oriented on it's axis until it's bow was lined up with the traffic markers that would guide it to orbit.
He looked around the open floor of the terminal again for any sign of his squad leader and friend. The women and child were nowhere to be seen, but a human female possibly in her mid-to-late teens was checking her small fashionable bag with the baggage clerk. By her trendy dress and glowing ion hair tips popular among youth of that age, Joxxer guessed she was a native to the planet, or at least the imperial core. With such a small bag, she couldn't have been going far, most likely catching a lighter to an orbital platform or even a suborbital shuttle to another continent. As Joxxer watched her collect her bag and boarding pass, she turned with just enough well practiced, subtle flair to send a small rush of blue ion particles floating into the air behind her for the benefit of anyone that might have noticed. The pin points of lights drifted to the polished deck of the terminal in slow motion as she strutted across the open terminal toward the lifts. Joxxer watched them fade away into nothingness long after she was gone. It was an all too poignant reminded of another female in his life that wore a similar hair enhancement, a person that, at a time in his life, had been a good friend when they were in decided short supply.
With a sour expression, Joxxer checked his watch again, and turned back toward the bustling modern vista of the Imperial Capital, placing his paws firmly on the railing. Much like that young girl, the Armeanian that Joxxer knew also belonged to this city...to this way fo life. Despite her somewhat unique background, she understood it's sublime modern nuances as if born to them and she championed it's cause with every choice and step she made.
Joxxer traced his amber eyes up the silvery surface of the monolithic skyscrapers that created the contemporary backdrop for the Star Port.
It occurred to him that, despite having called Central home for 3 years, he was still very much an alien to this centre of human existence, in more ways than just in race. His own home world was a barren speck of ice tucked away in the nether of someone's twisted imagination. She wouldn't have been impressed by it. There were no vast metropolis' like this one or thriving star ports fueled by the post-war influx of resources and labor and export of services and manufactured goods. Joxxer shook his head as he stared glumly out across the vast ocean of the urban experience.
How long had he been bitter about it, he asked himself. Despite their very different upbringings and places of origin, they had become fast friends, assigned to the same squad and unit. He had taken a liking to her casual cool and sophisticated manner stood out about her almost from the beginning, and he admitted now that he had envied both her well cultured upbringing and the intellect those strange colored human eyes held behind them.
"Had I known you would be this sore with me, I'd have made my rounds with more urgency."
Joxxer turned from the vista of the city and his thoughts to regard the slender being that approached him out of the din of the terminal's main floor.
Faiwix Lightner's midnight blue skin and deep translucent eyes separated him from the human majority throughout the terminal, much the way Joxxer's stout build, snow white fur, and round erect ears did.
His dark naval uniform complimented his slender build and his species skin color Joxxer thought. His snug uniform and silver commander's bars were worn with a certain precision that spoke to a professional demeanor that had served the native Axian well during his career in the Galactic Navy. The combination of his uniform, human-like build and cultured accent had served the commander well among the native females of Central as well, Joxxer thought with a grin as he wondered what 'rounds' the middle aged being would have been making.
"What makes you think I'm sore?" Joxxer asked with a wry grin, looking back over the space port as taller being reclined against the railing beside him.
Lightner clasp his hands behind his head as he looked across the throng of the terminal, "By the raw look of you not two moments ago you daft hairball. I apologize for my tardiness however; prior obligations and important matters that needed my tending, you understand."
Joxxer shook his head, mocking the commander's accent "All is forgiven 'sir', a being of your age needs to get all the 'tending' he can while the tendings good I suppose, the times being what they are and all."
"Now there's no need for insults lad," Lightner said with a smirk, "I dare say I'll be running and gunning with the best of them when I'm twice my age." He chuckled, just as his eye caught a face in the crowd.
"Well well," He said in a low tone, pushing himself off the railing.
Joxxer looked over his shoulder at him, "Where are you going?"
Lightner straightened his uniform jacket, "To confirm our departure time, I'll return in a bit."
The older being walked at a quick gate into the crowd.
Joxxer grabbed up his duffle bag, "I'll go with you, I need to-"
As his gaze followed Lightner into the moving crowd, the face and still figure of a familiar young woman came into view. Her simple, yet attractive human face seemed expressionless, if anything verging on hesitant.
As Lightner disappeared into the crowd, Joxxer made a silent vow to leave him for dead should the fortunes of war ever provide for such an opportunity.