As Many Wontons As There Are Stars
Hao Shue rode the rockets into destiny, paying for the tickets by working ports or small jobs in cities. He hitchhiked the dynaflow freights or the FTL pleasure yachts preferred by the rich kids.
You could would find him in some wayward corner of port cities, inhaling the alien atmosphere as a piping hot wonton soup steamed in his face. You would see him slurping the last noodle and, placing the chopsticks in the empty bowl, sit back with a smile on his face.
His tongue thrummed in ecstasy as a freight pilot shared his wife’s wonton soup from a thermos. A fellow POW on a war torn planet presented a simple soup that made the stomach sing. He frequented stalls in cities crowded with exotic sentients and strange ideologies. An old woman on a desert moon bowed as he reverently ate her insipid soup.
There were wonton soups that were delicious, mediocre, and debacles; he tasted them all. An encyclopedic knowledge grew between his greying temples.
But his gaze was always outward, where there was always more.