Steam shot from the corroded pipes, whistling throughout the old factory. Boots splashed in the warm, run-off that coated the floor. As the young man reached the top of the stairs, he pushed a button, opening the sliding door in front of him. Sitting at a desk in front of him, his superior made no sign he even heard him. All he did was stare out through the office's viewport.

"Sir, area secured. You were right, we should be able to set up shop here, at least for a little bit." The young soldier smiled, feeling that he delivered the news better than he ever could.

His superior nodded, slowly, eyes trained on the viewport. "Good, tell the rest that they're at ease for now."

The soldier nodded, turning to leave but his eyes caught something. On the desk in front of his superior, lay a helmet. It looked old, but not broken. He didn't stay long enough to get a good look at the helmet, but it was still quite particular.

James' chest slowly rose and fell, looking far out into the factory. They got lucky with this one, finding such a secluded place in such good condition. Traveling the southern parts of the galaxy never lent much reprieve but when did, it was welcome. He sighed, heavily. His eyes drifted down from the port to the helmet on the table. He looked on with mild admiration, placing a hand on the cold metal top.

"I wonder if you'd find it shameful I was in such a sore place." His voice was calm, almost considerate.

If the soldier had looked closer, there would be no mistaking it. With the 'T' shaped visor embedded in the frame, the old Beskar helmet was a work of art. In the eyes of a Mando'a, of course. Under the bandages that laced his face, James smiled.

"I worry sometimes, that I'm not living as you would want." The smile faded quickly. "I failed you, so many times, buir."

He took the thing in his hands, holding it with such purpose and conviction. "I will not again. I will try my best to change, as you would want me to."

Smiling again, sorrow lost in the tones of his face. "I'm sorry you went out like that, I'm sorry I became what I was..." he paused, "I'm sorry I left my brothers and sisters."

He softly placed the helmet back down. He looked back out through the viewport, down at the soldiers that followed him, as if their life depended on it. "But I am changed, so are you."
  • Like
Reactions: Ingrid L'lerim