The Ceremony (Pt 1)

((MNS Archangel))

The captain made his way through the numerous rates that stopped, turn to the side to allow him to pass, and saluted all in the same motion. Captain Peng saluted back to those who did with the same crispness as the others. Stepping into the turbolift, he ordered it to Deck Seven all the while thinking on what he would say at the memorial service.

There was only so much a captain could say. Sacrifice was required, of duty and honor. Those words rang for the Mandate but what of those that had loved ones and friends? What words could he say to alieve the pain of loss? It was that thought that he mused over as he made for his quarters. There he refreshed himself, cleaned and groomed in ten minutes. Words of wisdom, loss, and proud flashed through, equally dismissed from his head.

He replaced the pips of his rank upon his hat with polished versions, his dress uniform a crisp white in trim of black. The press lines were clearly standing out, even if every other uniform had the same lines.

Wei Peng looked in the mirror. He saw a man that had much ahead with just as much behind in the lines of his face. His eyes looked tired to him, and perhaps he truly was. He blinked and straightened his hat. Now he was ready.

~~

((Missile Control 1, MNS Archangel))

The crew had begun to gather, most of the ground-side rates and non-coms dressed sharply. The captain was spotted rather easily despite his quiet entrance. Through the Net went the impulsive callout drilled forever into their heads.

Officer on deck!

The sudden change of conversation and ambient gathering was noticeable as the crew went to attention. The captain gazed hard with piercing eyes to those he could see. He nodded, "As you were." His voice was soft but it was heard. Everyone relaxed just a bit, once more picking up what they previously were doing. He slowly walked through the crowd, gazing towards the ventral tubes. The flags of the Mandate hung high above the launcher with the caskets not yet arrived. He was perhaps a bit grateful at not seeing them just yet.

He surveyed more of the crowd, noting the appearance of Lily and another woman. The reports marked her as the survivor of the maltech ship, a former prisoner. She seemed well out of place, despite Lily and the dry humor of captain Lecter. Spotting the man himself, he began to walk slowly over to him. He made sure they saw him well before he arrived, bowing slightly as he greeted them. "Ladies, gentleman, you all appear fantastically. Thank you for coming here today."

His tone was indeed full of thanks as he spoke to all of them.

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