Wedding Hall, Reception
"Today my best friend is marrying the love of his life. No not the UEE," the guests laughed at Cliff as he gave the speech with champagne class in hand, "No he's not marrying me either, which has indeed broken my heart as well. Instead he's now married to this beautiful woman Chista. I suppose that's a fair compromise." Mavor laughed at his best man while he held his wife's hand's under the table. Cliff continued, but Mavor couldn't help but be distracted. My wife. It was a crazy thought to him. Only months ago he had been blowing up Vanduul and Pirates, taking Pirate ships and enjoying his life as a UEE marine. During his shore leave in Terra he met Chista. After several months he grew to love her more than his job and planned a life together with her. And he had never wanted anything else so much. This was a dream come true for him.
"…Mavor, you've always been my most loyal and true friend. I'd never give that for anything. And I know that our fate probably lies in the Grinder, but, until then, I want you to share your life with this beautiful girl and give her all you are. I'm proud of you, brother." Mavor stood up, clicked his glass to Cliff's and while everyone else drank the toast, he hugged Cliff. They clapped each other's backs twice and let go and smiled at each other. They both sat back down.
Mavor felt guilty. He hadn't told him yet.
Speeches came and went that night and the dancing and partying ensued. As Chista was dancing with each of the male guests for a credit each, called the 'Credance', Mavor stepped outside with Cliff to smoke a cigarette. They both shared a light. Mavor felt the smoke fill his lungs, his breath pushing it down. He slowly released it and felt relation fill him.
Cliff openned, "So when were you going to tell me?"
Mavor nearly sputted his second drag, "How did you…?"
"I'm smart, bro. I found out you didn't re-enlist from one of Herring's secretaries."
Mavor dropped his head, "I'm sorry. I just didn't know how to…"
Cliff smiled, "Its ok! I get to say 'I told you so!'. So…I told you so!"
Mavor and Cliff laughed together and enjoyed their smokes in silence a few minutes.
"So what now?" Cliff asked.
"I'm going to take what I've earned, buy a ship, and we're going to go make a living for ourselves. I heard that explosives techs are useful in mining operations." Mavor stared into Terra's night sky. He could barely make out the stars awash in Prime's lights.
Cliff laughed, "Mining? That will get you killed for sure. Come with me to the Grinder. We've got six, no, seven percent chance of making it there at least."
Mavor shook his head slowly, "I thought I wanted that, but I decided the cycle needs to end. I want kids, I want to see them grow up. I want to teach them the things my father taught me. The UEE doesn't need me to make the 'verse a better place. But other places do. Chista needs me. My kids will need me. Blowing up Vanduul isn't going to solve our problems. Teaching some kids how to live right might just."
Cliff looked serious, "I'm going to miss you. I'll come visit whenever I can, Mavor. Where are you going?"
Mavor took his last drag. He breathed out, dropping his cigarette and stomping it out on the ground. "We're going to the Leir system."