Inspired by "Rogue One" (Star Wars), does not contain spoilers if you haven't seen it. Also loosely situated in my Kisumai/JE Star Wars AU that I wrote ages ago? Some might remember.
"Panitan" and "Piro piro panitan suri suri" were taken from BUSAIKU's songs. I chose the title based on the fact that they said that "Panitan" was a magic spell.
Upside-down, right-side-up. Those didn’t matter in space. It was easy to lose yourself in the endless blackness littered with countless stars. Nikaido would lose any sense of time and direction all too easily whenever he was in space. Only when he was stationed on a planet or moon, anywhere with a gravitational force, would be remember that there was an up or down, left or right. At least whenever he had to maneuver himself around.
When he was sitting behind the controls of his fighter it was an entirely different story. Then he would know precisely where to go and what to do.
It hadn’t always been like this, there had been a time when he had been new and inexperienced but those times were long gone. All of them - well, almost all of them - had somehow survived until now, had come back from countless battles more or less intact. Now all seven of them had been promoted to the position of squad leader and were training the next generation of pilots.
Nikaido wondered idly whether you could call them a next generation, considering that some of them didn’t live long. Maybe the ‘next group’ of pilots was more adequate.
The war had gotten progressively worse. Not surprising because that’s what wars usually did.
His gut clenched when the sirens went off. Another battle. Nikaido dashed towards the green area of the hangar. On his way he passed the other squadrons.
How many of them would he see again afterwards?
Would he live to see them?
“Takashi,” the voice stopped him on his way to the fighters. He turned around and found his partner there. His lover. His soulmate.
“Kento.” They hugged briefly, there was no time for more affectionate things. “May the Force be with you.” He whispered the customary encouragement to the other. He could hear it echoed all across the area where people were saying their farewells.
Blinking, Nikaido looked at the other, “What?”
“That’s what the people on my planet call the Force.” Senga smiled. “Piro piro panitan suri suri. It roughly translates into ‘the Force is with me, I am one with the Force’, I guess.”
Nikaido nodded, “I see.” He smiled gently and touched Senga’s hand, squeezing it, before he let go to finish putting on his gear before walking to his fighter. “Panitan. I like it. It sounds like a magic spell that makes wishes come true.”
“What would you wish for?” Senga asked.
“For all of us to come back safely.” Nikaido replied with a smile before he put on his helmet.
“Panitan.” Senga echoed and he looked at Nikaido fondly. “I want to believe in that, too. If we all do, it will be a magic spell that makes wishes come true.”
You're up next prillalar!