“Everywhere I went up there, they were shakin’ their cosmic things” – “Cosmic Thing”, B-52’s
04.07.yc116 Saisio < Okomon Constellation < The Forge
The pod goo swirled down the drain as I twirled in the shower in tune to the rhythm that beat in my head. My feet were light as I danced and my heart was thrilled as I shook my cosmic thing. I just couldn’t keep from smiling having finished my exploration of Empire space. One-thousand, nine-hundred, and seven systems across twenty-three regions. Unbelievable! Of course, if someone were to observe what I called dancing, I’m sure they would beg to differ. When talents were handed out, I seemed to have missed that one.
After finishing my exploration of the Hahyil system in the Derelik region, I had returned to my home station in Saisio. It was time to take ‘Jester’s Trek’ out, my Tengu, that the Chief had fitted out for me. I was excited, thrilled, and nervous at the same time. Maybe even a hint of fear, but that made it all the more exciting. Still shaking my hind side and humming the tune that was stuck in my head, I had a difficult time getting my workout shorts and top on. I had made it a habit, after long periods of pod time, to exercise and keep physically fit.
I guess I should have kept my eyes open when I exited my quarters, but I was too lost in the music, just taking in the moment for all it was worth, because I slammed into the Chief as he was getting ready to ring the chime. The smile on his face matched my own then we both burst out laughing.
“I’ve missed that smile, kiddo.” He managed to get out after a moment.
“What can I say?” I replied, “It feels good to finish a major milestone.”
“Enjoy the moment, it’s well deserve.” He nodded at me thoughtfully. “Your Grandfather would be proud and I certainly am.”
I wrapped him up in a huge hug, at least as big as my tiny frame would allow, and squeezed as hard as I could. That once bright eyed, full of wonder kid had finally returned to my spirit. I had truly moved on and had let go of the past. Now I could honor my father and grandfather by continuing with the next phase of my exploration.
One last squeeze, then I patted the Chief’s back and stepped away. “He’s ready?”
“Who?” The Chief started, then chuckled. “Oh that’s right, ‘Jester’s Trek’ you mean? You know kiddo, that just ain’t right calling a ship a he instead of a she.”
I shrugged my shoulders as there was no amount of ribbing he could incur that would deter my festive attitude. “Eh… to each his own I guess.”
He rolled his eyes, but continued to smile. “Yeah, he’s ready.”
“Awesome!” I started to move my arms in a locomotion gesture and bounced on my heels in succession to that beat that was once again in my head.
“Don’t do that.” His face turning slightly red. “Causes me impure thoughts.”
I stopped, dropped my jaw, and then smacked his chest with the flat of my palm, “Dirty old man.”
“Damn straight.” He replied, but I could see in his eyes the care instead of a leer.
“Besides, what would Grandfather think of you?” I smarted off.
“He wouldn’t, he’d just kill me.” The Chief grinned.
“Damn straight!” I mimicked his tone. “Thanks Chief, for everything. I plan on taking a few days off, but only after I’ve worked out and taken the Tengu out for a spin. Then I’ll be scanning down a wormhole entrance to Nullsec.”
His gaze turned to one of admiration, but with a hint of concern, “You be careful out there Katia, alright? Let me know of anything, anything at all I can do and you’d better see me before you go. Copy?”
My nerves tinged again, but I smiled despite them. The time for joking had passed as he only used my given name when he was serious and deeply cared for my wellbeing. I swallowed hard, fought the tears back that wanted to fall, and hugged him once more.
“Copy that.” I sounded as official as I could. “I will, I promise.”