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Carrier Crew Berthing - SCCV VERSAILLES

Privacy never seemed to enter the equation when the designers planned this cavernous chamber, with rows of bunks three high and lockers, also stacked in threes, for personal effects. Each bed and each locker has a slot for a removable card with the stenciled name of each crew member assigned berthing here. Privacy only seems to come into play at all are the bathrooms, with enclosed toilets - although the washbasins and showers in the gender-divided facilities are built to contain groups - not individuals - with multiple shower heads dispensing reclaimed water.

Contents:

General T'ralthon <IC>

Lt_Colonel Warrick <IC>

Sondrix is seated on a bunk, looking very thoughtful and pensive. She is toying with a coral necklace.

T'ralthon is standing near the doorway, looking around the room.

Sondrix glances up. "Oh, sir. Are you feeling better, General sir?" She rises to her feet and salutes.

T'ralthon says, "Better than before, thank you. Being couped up in your med bay was tiresome. I decided to explore."

Warrick enters, heels clacking stacatto on the floor.

Sondrix lifts her gaze quickly. Almost at once her face betrays some trepidation, stifled at once. "Lt. Colonel sir."

T'ralthon nods to Warrick. "Colonel."

Warrick's brows arc, "Ah, General. I am surprised to find you up and about...And without your escort, no less. You are feeling better, I trust?"

T'ralthon says, "Better than when you found me, thank you."

Sondrix seems slightly more pensive than usual. Her eyes go towards Warrick for a moment, almost as if she wants to say something but thinks better of it.

Warrick says, "Excellent. I hope that you are enjoying your visit to our vessel..."

T'ralthon says, "It is a well built vessel. I hope to explore the base in due time."

Sondrix chuckles quietly. "It's sturdy as they come, General sir. Although I would rather be on land than in a ship for my work." She glances over to Warrick again, then draws a breath. "Colonel sir. Might I have a word at your convenience?"

Warrick's brows arc. "Of course, Lieutenant. What is it that you need?"

Sondrix's face is perfectly bland. "I don't really need anything sir, except your permission in a rather delicate matter." She puts her hands behind her back, palms turned out, back perhaps slightly straighter than normal. She seems...a little tense perhaps.

Warrick says, "Oh?"

Sondrix inclines her head. "Yes sir." She looks rather more worried than she's looked in a while.

Warrick says, "Well, then, out with it, Marine!"

Sondrix stiffens her shoulders, braces her back. "Sir. Will you marry me sir." She stares straight ahead, her cheeks flaming red.

T'ralthon stands off to the side, observing. His facial expression does not change...somehow, he seemed to expect that.

Warrick's brows shoot straight up. He simply stares at Sondrix for a few moments, before saying, with razorlike efficiency of expression, "Er?"

Sondrix's expression is bland, although her cheeks betray her discomfiture. Even her neck is red and for a moment, her eyes are over-bright, almost as if she might cry. Quite calmly, she repeats again, "Will you marry me sir. And that, sir, is entirely arbitrary. I'll take KP later on sir."

Warrick folds his arms before him, face flushing just a bit. He glances to the General, replying. "Uhm. Hmm."

Sondrix, having said her piece, stares at the wall as if it's her last haven in a drowning. The air is tense as a violin string. It wouldn't be at all surprised if the theme from Twilight Zone were to play right there and then.

Warrick says, finally, "I don't know what to say."

Sondrix could be carved from marble, only the quick rise and fall of her breathing betraying any signs of life. "Again sir. It's arbitrary sir. Never mind sir." Her voice is quietly calm.

T'ralthon watches with a straight face.

Warrick says, "It's hardly arbitrary, Lieutenant. It's something of a surprise, though."

Sondrix's eyes fix on the wall with rigid intensity. "I told you I was a fool sir."

Warrick says, "You're hardly a fool, Terestin."

Sondrix swallows. She appears to be keenly aware of the General's presence and her cheeks flame even more scarlet than ever. "To ask something like that, I must be Dav...sir."

Warrick says, "And if I accept your offer? Then what?"

Sondrix's eyes flicker mercurially. "Then it's up to you what occurs then sir...I'll defer to your wishes then."

Warrick's brows arc anew. "Oh /really/."

Sondrix isn't smiling, and the usual twinkle in her eyes is conspicuously absent. In fact, she seems more than ill at ease. "Sir. I would like to marry you sir. Perhaps it's the impending war, perhaps it's counting the days and wondering how many are left before one or either of us Marines sees the light of day for one more day. Guillame d'Marchien, my mentor, would marry us, if needs be. If not him, he would know someone else sir." Her voice is precise, but low.

Warrick says, "Fine. Carry on, Lieutenant."

Sondrix blinks, her countenance roundly startled. "Yes sir," she responds at once out of discilinary reflex. "Do you have a preferred date, sir."

Warrick says, "No. Use your best discretion."

Sondrix nods, once. "Yes sir. I will notify you of the date at the earliest convenience. Most likely by tonight sir. Ceremony preference sir, or just quiet register signing sir. And on the Citadel or on Earth sir?"

Warrick says, "Again, I leave the details in your capable hands, Lieutenant."

Sondrix's high color begins to recede slightly. "Thank you sir. I trust it is something that you wish sir. I..." Something chokes in her throat for a moment before she continues. "It's not something I want to push you into sir. Not without knowing that it is something you wish as much, if not more, than I."

Warrick says, "You have my answer, Lieutenant. Are you asking me to reconsider?"

Sondrix stiffens into ramrod straight position, if that's remotely possible. "Only if you feel it necessary sir."

Warrick says, "I don't feel that it's necessary."

Sondrix nods, acknowledging her commanding officer's succint summary of the situation. "Then sir, I will contact Guillame sir." A pause. "It is not a court-martial-able offense, I hope sir?" A slight flicker of worry in her mercurial eyes.

Warrick says, "It isn't, no."

Sondrix allows herself a quirk of the lips. "I am glad sir. I trust this won't make trouble in the ranks sir." Quietly, almost as if something disturbs her.make trouble in the ranks sir." Quietly, almost as if something disturbs her.

Warrick says, "Not so much that it will strain things overly. We are not the first two to embark on such a venture."

Sondrix nods. "I'm glad sir." She breaks her gaze from the wall and stares Warrick full in the face this time round, cheeks still pink. "Then at your earliest convenience sir, I will discuss the ceremony plans with you sir. Is there anyone you would wish as a witness for the occasion?"

Warrick says, "Well, it seems appropriate that I inform my parents."

Sondrix inclines her head. "And I my grandmother sir. I take it this will be in uniform sir."

Warrick says, "Ah. Yes, well. It will all come together."

Sondrix relaxes, just a little. "I think it will sir. The rings sir. Do you wish me to see to that also sir?"

Warrick says, "Only to yours for me."

Sondrix nods. "Yes sir." Another pause. "This will probably cause scandal sir. Perhaps it might be fitting to keep it quiet for now sir. At least until necessary."

Warrick says, "I have nothing to hide from the core. Keeping it 'quiet' will only add to the scandal when it is discovered."

Sondrix is silent for a moment. "If you have nothing to hide, then I have nothing to hide as well sir. I only trust it will not reflect badly on you or your service."

Warrick says, "It will be fine, Lieutenant."

Sondrix's eyes regain some of their former twinkle. "Do you wish me to keep my maiden name sir?"

T'ralthon tactfully bows out to let them discuss their future.

T'ralthon heads into Corridor - Deck 2 - SCCV VERSAILLES.

T'ralthon has left.

Warrick says, "It is entirely up to you, Lieutenant."

Once the General is out of the room, Sondrix relaxes. Just a fraction. But she still keeps her rigid pose. "Noted sir."

Warrick says, "Lieutenant...You can relax now."

Sondrix goes to at ease, mostly out of discipline. Her violet eyes glimmer, and then almost at once, she lowers them and swallows. "Yes sir..." she murmurs huskily. "Davian..."

Warrick says, "After much reflection, I have decided that I love you, Terestin."

Sondrix looks up, startled. "Oh..!" She takes a step forward, her cheeks paling a little, then flushing. "I...I'm glad!" Her voice is choked, slightly tight.

Warrick says, "Note that I would not have agreed to marry you otherwise."

Sondrix's lips curve in a rare, tender smile. "I feel rather silly, proposing, like an oversexed older woman what..." she murmurs, and she's trembling slightly perhaps from the sudden tempestuous emotions.

Warrick says, "You're not that, however."

Sondrix's chuckle is wry. "Some would say otherwise, when they find out about this, Davian." A pause as she looks down at her hands, then back up at him again. Impulsively, suddenly, "I love you Davian."

Warrick says, "I love you Terestin."

Sondrix takes a quick glance around, her eyes flaring mercurially. She reaches to brush Warrick's wrist with her finger tips. "I'm afraid," she says abruptly with a faint smile. "But I'm bally glad. Gods, I'm glad."

Warrick says, "As am I." He smiles, slightly. "

Sondrix closes her eyes for a moment. "Well that's something isn't it..." she murmurs. "Married, by God...Your family won't mind, I hope?"

Warrick says, "It is unlikely."

Sondrix nods slowly. "Grannyma will be...well, pleased. Don't mind her if she ahh, makes a pass at you, will you? She does that as a matter of fact." A sudden chuckle. "Captain Marcus will have me over the coals for this, oh dear."

Warrick folds his arms before his chest. "If Marcus proves to be a problem, mention it to me."

Sondrix smiles a little. "If he does I'll mention it, but I think I can handle it. Davian..." Her eyes glimmer once more, fingertips brushing his wrist again. "...I'm very happy."

Warrick says, "I as well."

Sondrix gives a quick glance around - again, as per a Friday night, the place is empty - and comes a tentative step forward. Her eyes hold Warrick's, shy, fearful perhaps, but glad. Hesitantly she touches his cheek, fingers light as rose petals.

Warrick smiles. "We should save this for a more...Intimate...Location.

Sondrix nods, dropping her hand. "I know. Not that we'll get it, but it might as well serve..." she murmurs with a smile.

Gradic steps into the crew berthing, looking around idely. He stops and salutes his superiors.

Sondrix turns quickly at the sound of footsteps. She stiffens into a smart salute, the faintest tinge of pink on her cheeks.

Warrick turns smoothly as Gradic enters, hand coming up in a sharp return salute. "At ease, Lieutenant."

Gradic stands down, hands behind his back.

Sondrix comes to at ease herself, with quiet precision. "Good evening Lieutenant," she murmurs in clipped Queen's English.

Gradic nods "Good evenin Lieutenant" his new york accent in complete contrast with Sondrix's.

Sondrix's cheeks dimple in a quirky grin. "I believe we haven't met, Lieutenant." She glances to Warrick. "Permission to be dismissed to make arrangements, sir."

Warrick says, "By all means, Lieutenant."

Sondrix comes to sharp salute. "Thank you sir." With that she steps back, salutes again and turns on her heel to stride to a bunk, stooping to pick up what looks to be a cellular phone of unique design from its surface.

The lanky silver-haired Marine 1st Lieutenant punches in a number, then strides out of the crew berthing. "Sir. I'll report to you in a few minutes sir." And with that and a precise tapping of heels, she's out of there.

Recreation Center - SCCV VERSAILLES

Illumination panels gleam overhead, reflecting off the chrome of mechanical exercisers and the clear blue water of a sixty-foot-long swimming pool, divided into three four-foot-wide lanes. A quarter-mile walking path, marked off by red lines imprinted on the gray impact cushion on the deck, encircles the chamber.

Phone conversation with Guillame d'Marchien:

  • The phone rings*

A secretary answers the phone. "Mr. d'Marchien's office."

Fluent French, flawless in pronunciation. "Mr. d'Marchien, sil vous'plait."

"One moment," the secretary says. A few moments later, the phone clicks. "Guillame d'Marchien speaking."

'This is Terestria du'chien, ma cher Guillame. I need that license after all. *a soft laugh*'

Guillame sighs. "Are you serious?" He then pauses, becomes sunnier. "I mean, congratulations."

A chuckle. "Yes Guillame, I am serious. I am sorry to distress you so."

So, you will be wanting this license, yes? And you will be wanting it secret, yes?

Sondrix mmms quietly. "Preferably as quiet as possible yes, but my fiance will not keep it a secret after the marriage, I think. Military, most likely informal since, if I know the Vanguard, I will have an hour to marry, and get back into duty once more."

Guillame ponders this for a moment. "Indeed? You could not, perhaps, secure brief leave time to visit, say, Quaquan?"

Sondrix chuckles rather wryly. "Guillame, the Versailles is at full alert to move out for war at any given moment. I don't think that I ahhh, could get leave even if I wished. We are a Marine regiment after all."

Guillame groans softly. "Merde."

Sondrix chuckles yet again. "Alas, I am difficult, my poor friend. Merci. But it is the nature of my work, n'cest pas?"

Guillame is silent for a while, pondering. "I have a contact on Quaquan. She may be able to assist. Perhaps she will be available on short notice?"

Sondrix is quiet as she weighs the options. "I am stationed on the Citadel for now, ma cher. If she can gain clearance, eh bien, all is well."

Guillame chuckles softly. "It so happens, my contact is in the Sol System, as we speak."

Guillame says, "She will be on Citadel within the hour, paperwork in hand. You pay her, yes?"paperwork in hand. You pay her, yes?"

You can almost *hear* Sondrix's eyebrows shoot up. "Nom de'nom, Guillame, but that is most convenient. I will pay her, yes my friend. When have I ever been lax in that matter?"

Guillame, how many witnesses to make this legal?

Guillame can almost be heard to smirk. "The names for this certificate? And, to make it legal, at least three witnesses besides yourselves, yes?"

Sondrix chuckles wryly. "Lt. Colonel Davian Warrick of the 3rd Regimental Combat Marines and First Lt. Terestin-Kavennis Sondrix, also of the 3rd Regimental Combat Marines. Three witnesses? Gott in himmel, Guillame!"

Guillame can be heard tapping away at something. "Davian. D-a-v-i-a-n?"D-a-v-i-a-n?"

Sondrix chuckles wryly. "Yes, Guillame. You know how to spell my name, of course."spell my name, of course."

Guillame scoffs. "Oh, but of course. My contact, a Hataali of the Qua people named Singer, will have the paperwork when she arrives on Citadel. I...wish you luck, of course."

Sondrix laughs softly. "Thank you Guillame, again, merci bien. If the war permits, I will come to visit you with my husband."

Guillame chuckles. "Until next time." Click.

Fighter Bay - SCCV VERSAILLES

Vanguard starfighters prepped for escort, patrol or combat, are arranged in this vast chamber with their nose cones pointed toward the bay doors. Launch lane lights flash in sequence from fore to aft. To port stands a massive archway leading into an adjacent hangar.

Gradic turns to Sondrix and salutes.

Sondrix marches into the fighter bay, a very strange look on her calm face. One glance takes in the two second lieutenants. She salutes precisely. "Good evening Lieutenants."

Deth returns the salute, "Afternoon, what brings you down to our humble fight bay?"bay?"

Sondrix chuckles faintly. "Actually, Lieutenant, I come here sometimes." She purses her lips thoughtfully, then says with quiet decision, "Have you time to spare for perhaps, oh, fifteen minutes, gentlemen?"

Kaison nods to the newly arrived first Lt as he stands with the other pilots in the wing.

Gradic nods and says "why yes actually."

Deth looks to the captain for an answer.

Kaison looks to Sondrix saying, "I have to go about with some technical matters regarding the fighters in my squadron, quite tedious but they have to be done. I'm sure these two fine gentlemen would not mind to join you at all, Lt." He smiles as he takes the electronic notepads from under his arm.

Sondrix's lips quirk faintly. "I have a favor to ask of you all, gentlemen. I need something witnessed which requires 3 witnesses. If you have the time to spare, I would be exceedingly in your debt." She nods to Kaison. "Very well. Thank you for sparing me your crew."

Deth nods as the captain answers and then looks to sondrix's acceptingly, "Looks like I'm free."

Gradic nods as well.

Kaison nods, "No problem at all, Lt. They are currently not required on duty." He then looks to each saying, "No if you'll excuse me, I think it's time for me to start yelling at some technicians. Have fun."

Sondrix's grin is wry. "Then, if you gentlemen will please follow me. Again, thank you." She salutes Kaison, then turns with precision and marches towards the door.

Kaison looks to his left then right as if crossing a road before running towards a group of technicians sitting idle by a fighter.

Armory - SCCV VERSAILLES

Secure steel lockers, sealed shut and accessible only via codes tapped into keypads, line the aft wall of this chamber. In this facility, personal weapons meant to repel boarders and neutralize intruders, are stored.

Sondrix pauses at the door. "Gentlemen, if you will wait here a few minutes, I will return immediately. Again, thank you." Rapidly she moves out, a certain urgency in her motions.

Deth watches her leave carefully, his settles himself against the wall.

Gradic nods.

Docking Arm - Citadel

The docking arm swarms with activity, as numerous beings attempt to move through the crowded area. The far wall of the arm consists of a bank of evenly-spaced airlocks, each occasionally parting to allow someone to pass. A cargo tram travels slowly through the room, stopping to retrievecargo tram travels slowly through the room, stopping to retrieve cargo from waiting vessels before inching its way through the crowd. Most of the wall space is adorned with advertisements, posters and monitors, each attempting to capture your attention. A well-illuminated archway leads into the launch bay, through which military officers and civilians alike travel in an almost constant stream. Opposite the airlocks, the arm opens into a corridor admitting arrivals onto the station, under the watchful gaze of several security officers stationed nearby.

Comlink conversation while walking:

The comlink crackles to life. "Lt. Colonel Warrick. This is Lt. Sondrix."

Yes Sondrix, go ahead.

Sir. I have the arrangements settled sir, and the representative from Quaquan is here now. If you will proceed to the Armory sir, I have two second lts. for witnesses. I need a third. Can you find someone sir?

Sondrix marches out to the docking area, strides precise. She is talking on a commlink, while her eyes sweep the docking arm as if looking for someone.

Nearby, an old woman sits atop a large equipment casing. Her spindly legs barely reaching the floor.

Sondrix's lips curve in a faint smile as she salutes the two guards who are watching the old woman rather suspiciously. "I am expecting Madam Singer, sirs. She is a legal representative from Quaquan who has some important documents for me." She extends her ID to the guards who inspect it.

The guard receiving the ID grunts as he looks it over, then hands it back. He points to the little old lady. "Her?"points to the little old lady. "Her?"

Sondrix nods. "I believe so, yes." She puts her ID away, then moves towards Singer. "Madam Singer, I believe. Lt. Terestin Sondrix."

With an audible gasp for air, the old woman pushes herself up from her perch. Unsteady on her feet for but a moment, she straightens her hunched shoulders as best she can and regards you with eyes as clear as a glassy lake. "Terestin-Kavennis Sondrix." Though her pronunciation is correct, the name seems foreign to the Qua woman's tongue. Her eyes move to take in the whole of you, then her head nods ever so slightly. "You are to wed this day."

Sondrix nods solemnly, in perfect Qua. "I am, madam." She rummages in her belt for something and hands it to the woman respectfully. "Thank you for your time, mother."

Sondrix places a small envelope into the woman's frail hand. "This is what Guillame asked me to give you, and something else for your trouble." She smiles faintly. "Will you come with me, mother?"

Singer takes the envelope and slips it into a pouch at her waist.Singer takes the envelope and slips it into a pouch at her waist.

Sondrix smiles, rather gently. "Again thank you mother. If you please." She gestures to the exit quietly.

Sondrix takes Singer back into the Versailles where she lets her into the Armory before looking up and seeing:

Avocet strides down the corridor toward the muster room.

Avocet nods to Sondrix as he passes. "Soldier."

Sondrix is at the moment, readying herself to go into the armory. She stiffens in a salute. "Sir."

Avocet keeps on walking, bound for the muster room.

Muster Room - SCCV VERSAILLES

Hard metal benches sit between rows of equipment lockers with removable stenciled cards indicating the assigned pilot. A sign on the wall above the door declares: SERVE WITH HONOR. SERVE WITH PRIDE.

Avocet glances around the muster room, datapad in hand.

Sondrix marches into the muster room, a decisive, rather harried look on her face. "Sir..." she pauses in salute.

Avocet turns toward Sondrix.

Avocet says, "Yes?"

Sondrix draws a deep breath. "Sir. Might I have permission to ask a favor sir?"

Avocet arches his eyebrows. "A favor?"

The lanky first lieutenant looks uncomfortable but her face remains bland. "Yes sir. Begging your pardon sir."

Avocet clasps his hands behind his back. "You may ask."

Sondrix draws another deep breath. "Sir. I need a witness for a document signing sir, in order for it to be legal sir. Begging your pardon sir, but if you could be present sir." Her voice is quiet, precise.

Avocet twists his mouth cynically. "A document signing? Declaring war, are we?"

Sondrix shakes her head. "No sir. It is far from a document of war sir."

Avocet nods. "Fine, fine." He sighs. "Let me see it."

Sondrix gestures. "Sir, it's in the Armory sir."

Avocet blinks. "The armory?"

Sondrix adds quietly, "There are two second Lts. in the Armory along with the bearer of the document sir. Yes sir, the Armory."

Avocet smooths the front of his uniform. "I see." He gestures to the door, his interest clearly piqued. "After you."

Sondrix salutes. "Yes sir." And marches out..

Once in the Armory:

Gradic is standing at a salute.

Avocet strides into the armory and looks absolutely baffled at the crowd in the tiny room.

Rathmon arrives from Corridor - Deck 3 - SCCV VERSAILLES.

Rathmon has arrived.

Rathmon salutes.

Avocet twists his mouth into a grimace. "What is the meaning of this?"

Avocet points to Singer. "A civilian!?"

Avocet says, "In a military armory?"

Daerius's lips quirk at Avocet's command of the obvious.

Deth salutes the general, "It is Sondrix's order."

Avocet narrows his eyes as he stomps toward Sondrix. "You have some explaining to do."

Singer regards the general with a slow blink.

Sondrix marches into the Armory, stopping and blinking as she sees the sudden swelled crowd. "Sir, she is a lawyer sir." For once she looks almost trapped. "Sir. She has my marriage license sir."

Avocet lifts his chin. "And she demanded that you be married in a weapons storage facility aboard a Vanguard carrier?"

Marcus seems perplexed, though a remark does eminate from his lips as Sondrix states the reason. "I don't recall the Colonel ever having passed the word at Quarters this morning or *any* morning that expected company was..erhm...expected."

Singer lifts her own chin, regarding the General. "Have I a look about me that makes you think I am dangerous?"

Sondrix stands at unmoving attention. "No sir. I didn't know where else to go sir." She looks calm but her eyes are mercurial, almost desperate undernearth her facade.

Avocet turns his attention to the Qua. "Lady, I ask the questions on this ship." He snaps his head to Sondrix. "Yeah, right. Move your kiesters to the mess hall, pronto."

"How about anywhere other than the most important vessel in this quadrant for the defense of Consortium interests?" Comes a retort by Marcus below his breath.

Sondrix salutes stiffly. "Yes sir." She moves out, looking almost as if an anvil is about to fall on her head. In fluid Qua, she directs to Singer, "Mother, I am sorry. Please, come with me."

Avocet fixes Sondrix in his flinty gaze. "And, Lieutenant, we're not done. Understood?"

Sondrix pauses at the door and turns. "Yes sir." For a moment she looks hunted. Then out she marches. Swiftly.

Marcus coughs into his hand, looking back towards the General. " Sir..."

Mess Hall - SCCV VERSAILLES

Six tables, each surrounded by six hard-backed chairs, are arrayed family style in the dining room area of the mess hall. In the adjacent galley, noncommissioned crew and officers doing penance for poor behavior wash dishes and cook and serve meals and beverages. Far off to the left the room partitions to hide a small lounge area where the crew can coalesce for relaxation. It consists of several couches with small coffee tables placed in between. A small bar serving only non-alcoholic beverages and snack foods lies against the forward wall and a holo-projector sits on an empty table next to the bar.

Sondrix is standing by one of the mess hall tables, her fists clenched tightly. She looks...well, scared, worried...everything BUT what a blushing bride should look like. As the entrants file in she turns and her face smooths out into a bland mask.

Avocet smooths the front of his uniform, muttering under his breath and taking a seat at a table.a seat at a table.

Warrick enters, face a stony mask. He looks at the General for a long moment before moving to stand beside Sondrix.

Avocet watches both Warrick and Sondrix with his flinty gaze.

Sondrix stands stiffly at attention, saluting Avocet. She looks anything but bride-like, her eyes haunted and worried. She smiles faintly at Singer. "Mother Singer. I am in your hands now." She glances around at the assembly and for a moment, she winces.

Avocet rubs his chin, shaking his head head and sighing.

As she takes her new surroundings in, the Qua woman's mouth begins to move as if she recites some rhythmic chant. Her twig-like fingers fondle the smoothe coolness of a charm that hangs around her neck.

Gradic stands at ease

Daerius murmurs something quietly in Navajo.

Singer waves raises first one wrinkled hand, then the other above her head. As her chanting becomes quicker and lounder, her eyes fall closed.

Daerius(Daer) pages: Quicksilver...*tone just a bit tight*

Avocet steeples his fingers as he leans back in his chair, observing.

Sondrix draws a deep breath. "Mother Singer. This is my intended, Lt. Colonel Davian Warrick." She gestures towards Warrick. For a moment, her eyes lift to Daerius's, haunted and ghostlike.

Deth watches the odd procession curiously.

Gradic watches curiously.

Warrick remains entirely stony faced, arms folding before him. Again, his eyes trail towards Avocet.

Daerius takes a step forward, eyes locked on Sondrix.

The woman falls silent, eyes slowly opening and hands coming to rest before her. "Davian Warrick," Again, though her pronunciation is perfect, the name sounds alien from her mouth. She looks expectantly at the Lt. Colonel.sounds alien from her mouth.

Sondrix glances up at Daerius and says something in rapid Navajo. Then she steps back beside Warrick, stiffly, looking desperately tired. "I'm sorry..." she murmurs. "I'm so sorry."

Singer turns quietly to Sondrix "You must have the groom remove his shirt, young one."

Avocet arches his eyebrows.

You paged Daerius with 'FetchStorm...I have probably made the worse decision of my life tonight, to do everything so hurriedly. Don't, please don't say what I know you'll say. After this I will go somewher and cry. Then I will be back to duty.'

Deth settles into a chair, perhaps more confused than anything else.

Gradic blinks some more.

Warrick's brows arch too. He looks to Sondrix, shaking his head slightly. "There's nothing to be sorry for, I suppose."

Sondrix turns towards Warrick. "Mother Singer wishes you to remove your shirt sir," she says quietly. "It is a Qua custom." Then she says something very quietly that only Warrick can hear before lowering her eyes.

Daerius responds in Navajo, seemingly ignoring the ceremony.

Daerius(Daer) pages: I am saying nothing. I am concerned. What do you need to me to do? Keep my peace?

A perplexed look crosses the old woman's face. Turning to Daerius, she asks, "How gauge you the positions of the sun on a station such as this?"

You paged Warrick with 'Guillame sent her to the Citadel in an hour. After this...well, you're free to send me on sentence. I'm still sorry."

Sondrix looks harried as she looks up to Singer, then to Daerius. Her response is in Navajo as well, her frame tense, trembling.

You paged Daerius with 'I need you to witness this marriage for it to be legal FetchStorm. Chide me later if you will, but the agreement to marry was this evening. I had not forseen everything would be set in motion so fast. I will deal with it as I will."

Daerius looks at the old woman's face. "The sun? The closest one would be that way.." He says respectfully, and points. He then turns to Sondrix, expression indecipherable.

Singer says, "But where does it rise?"

Avocet twists his mouth faintly, crossing his arms.

Gradic remains standing, both eyebrows raised.

Daerius makes a gesture and elucidates in native tongue.

Warrick frowns grimly. His hands trail to the clasps on his jacket. Efficiently, he unfastens them, unwrapping his service jacket from his torso. "Enough," he says, "we can discuss such things when all this is over."

Sondrix keeps her pose stiff and straight, eyes fixed on the wizened Singer. Her eyes are mercurial, her face very slightly pale. More like she's going to an execution rather than a marriage.

Singer nods slightly, moving to the relative east wall of the room. From a pouch at her waist, she produces a small stick of incense. As she lights it, the smokey smell of bittersweet desert flower begins to fill the room.

Crossing to the opposite side of the room, pushing past Avocet gently but firmly, she produces from another pouch a small pile of what appears to be red dirt. After kneeling and praying over the small mound, she stands and moves slowly to the third wall.

Avocet shifts his head around to follow the Qua woman's odd progress.

Sondrix's eyes close tightly for a moment as she draws a deep, trembling breath to steady herself. She inhales the incense, a slightly calmer expression coming to her demeanor. Yet she's still tense, no doubt.

From a small vial made from cured leather, the woman's delicate fingers pour a thimble's worth of water into a small chalice. Her chanting remains steady as items appear and disappear from the mass of pouches at her hips.

Warrick lays his service jacket on a convenient table. His bare upper torso, now revealed, is quite impressively muscled, the way one might expect from a professional gynmast.

Rising once again, the old woman crosses the room on whispered steps. This time, her inventory produces a small white candle. As the flame takes hold of the wick, her prayers become more insistent.

Avocet arches an eyebrow as the fire sparks and catches.

Sondrix watches the old woman's progress, her face totally blank of expression. Although it's a familiar enough ritual to her, from all things.

Singer stands, moving to stand between Sondrix and the now bare-chested Warrick.

Singer places a hand on each of the betrothed's shoulders, gently pushing them to their knees.

Singer says, "Each of us is forged in this life from the air that gives us breath, earth that gives us form, water that makes us resilient and fire that gives us spirit. As two lives converge, so too do their component elements."

Sondrix sinks down obediently, listening.

Singer turns to Daerius and asks simply "You have the knife?"

Warrick allows himself to be pressed down.

Daerius's eyes flicker. And perhaps surprisingly, he does indeed have the knife. He reaches into his shirt and takes out the glittering steel from its place there. He walks to Singer and hands it to her.

Avocet raises his eyebrows and mouths: "A knife?"

Sondrix inhales the incense slowly, but despite her calmer demeanor, she is still trembling. "It is ceremonial, sir," she says and her voice is trembling as well.

Singer takes the knife, which looks even more large and impressive in her slight hand. She raises the blade above her head, chanting once again in Navajo.

Singer holds out a hand toward Sondrix's left hand.

Sondrix extends her hand quietly, her eyes huge and luminous. "Mother."

Holding the hand in hers, Singer drags the knife's sharp blade across Sondrix's olive-colored palm. As the blood wells up in a line, the old woman says, ""As your lives conjoin, so too does your life essence.

Singer turns to Warrick and holds out her hand.

Sondrix keeps her head held hight, the color flooding her cheeks. "So be it done."

Warrick extends his hand to Singer, face remaining simply grim.

As the knife blade splits Warrick's flesh, the Qua woman continues, ""As you share this moment of joy and pain, so shall two beating hearts become as one."

Avocet shakes his head grimly, rubbing his eyes.

Sondrix closes her eyes a moment, looking down at the floor. And for a brief second, there seem to be tears sparkling on on her long lashes.

Singer hands the still-bloody knife back to Daerius and takes a long leather thong from her belt. Placing the couple's palms together, she begins to firmly tie the leather around their hands, binding their palms.

Singer says, "As your life forces join, two hearts now united sing with the voice of all creation. May the great Sky Mother smile upon you and may your harvests be bountiful."

Sondrix meets Warrick's gaze for a quick, desperate moment. Then looks down again, her jaw trembling. "So shall it be, mother." Her voice is low.

Singer folds her hands before her and moves away from the couple.

Avocet crosses his arms, observing the finale of the ceremony.

From afar, Warrick squeezes her hand, despite the wrap and the pain.

Avocet stands from his seat at the table and moves toward the Qua woman. He speaks quietly, but firmly. "Is this done?"

Singer nods. "They are one."

Deth shakes his head muttering to himself.

Gradic blinks a few more times.

Avocet clasps his hands behind his back. "That's sweet." He shows no emotion in that sentiment as he looks toward Sondrix and Warrick. "One of you just bought yourself a transfer."

Gradic begins to drift towards the door.

Daerius walks over to the two, and calmly begins to unwrap the binding from around their wrists. He says something quietly.

Sondrix draws a deep breath. "We are wed. Husband." And with that, she draws Warrick to his feet. For a new bride she looks like a ghost. Her eyes go to Daerius, then to Avocet. A slight shudder runs through her but she throws her shoulders back. "Yes sir." She doesn't show emotion any more but she looks desperately ill. "Thank you FetchStorm." Toneless now.

Daerius(Daer) pages: Wind to thy wings, Quicksilver. And courage...

Singer moves to Sondrix, a piece of white paper in her leathery hand.

Gradic steps up to the general and says to him quietly "Sir, requesting permission to retire to the simulation rooms.

Singer says, "You will no doubt want this."

Avocet steps toward the couple, glowering. "Congratulations. I suppose. You've compromised the solidarity of your unit with this little maneuver." He looks back to Gradic. "Yes, yes, Lieutenant."

Gradic salutes, turns, and disapears out of the room.

Gradic heads into Corridor - Deck 2 - SCCV VERSAILLES.

Gradic has left.

Avocet glances toward Warrick. "Colonel, you have some explaining to do - more so than Lt. Sondrix, I expect."

Sondrix picks up the paper with a quiet nod. "Thank you Mother." She looks up and for a moment, her eyes glimmer. "Thank Guillame for me." She turns towards Avocet and salutes. "With all due respect sir. It is not the Lt. Colonel's fault." She throws her shoulders back.

Warrick looks to Avocet, replying, "I accept full responsibility for all that has transpired here." His countenance is grim.

Avocet says, "Of course it's his fault. He's your commanding officer."

Avocet nods to Warrick. "And you shall have the lion's share of it, Colonel, do not worry."

Avocet says, "Now - which one of you gets a desk job on Earth?"

For the first time since all this has started Sondrix looks as if she's going to lose her composure. "Sir. He is my commanding officer but I asked him to marry me sir. Transfer me out of the Versailles sir, the unit needs him." She stands tall, the wound slowly dripping blood from her palm.

Warrick says, "Permission to speak freely, sir?".

Avocet twists his mouth, briefly considering what Sondrix has to say, then looks back to Warrick. "I can't wait."

Warrick says, "The upcoming conflict motivated us to take this action at what may seem to be an inappropriate time. There is no excuse for that. However, placing either of us in command of a desk will only weaken this unit. The decision, of course, is yours, but the engagement on Sivad will demand the best. I am the best man to lead this unit into combat, and Lieutenant Sondrix provides skills necessary to our success in this effort, hence her recent transfer into the 3rd." He smiles slightly. "However, if you're willing to sacrifice a large portion of the 3rd's effectiveness for protocal, it is your perogative." With the hint of an afterthought, he adds, "Sir."

Avocet doesn't appear impressed. "Get an enullment, and I'll consider it."

Avocet says, "Get married, if you wish, when the conflict is over. Don't make this MY problem."

Rathmon arrives from Corridor - Deck 2 - SCCV VERSAILLES.

Rathmon has arrived.

Avocet is standing in front of Warrick, looking quite displeased.

Rathmon strolls into the commotion.

Sondrix closes her eyes tightly for a moment. It looks as if she might cry, but when she looks towards Avocet her eyes are calm. Then back towards Warrick again. "Sir. If I don't register this in 48 hours, it is null and void." Her voice is very quiet and precise. "It will then be considered anulled sir." The speaking seems to be an effort of will.

Daerius stands off to the side a bit, holding a bloody knife and some material.

Warrick's brows arc slightly. "You ask me to choose between my career and my bride." He looks at Sondrix sidelong, shaking his head slightly.

Avocet says, "Mr. Warrick, you are essentially demanding that I choose between your happiness and the true effectiveness of your fighting force, which will be compromised by this marriage, no matter what you might think."

Rathmon face seems to turn passive, as he watches.

Avocet says, "I think you know where I come down on that."

Sondrix's jaw tightens. "Davian. This is your career. I'll transfer out. It won't hurt me, after all and I did do civilian work. Don't compromise that. Please." With that she turns back to Avocet and her face is porcelain smooth. "I will transfer out sir. Please give me my posting and I will leave at the earliest convenience."

Avocet waits for Warrick to respond before dealing with Sondrix.

Daerius says quietly. "With all due respect, Sir. I don't see how a ceremony makes a difference. They are joined, whether your law says it or no. To force them into an annulment will do nothing but make them miserable and endanger the team. To seperate them will endager the team, since the remaining one will be ineffective. To keep them together and here is the only thing that savalges it. Sir."

Warrick nods slightly. "Very well. I understand your position." He reaches up, plucking his garrison cap off of his head. He fingers the golden eagle of his rank. He glances at Sondrix. "No. Even Generals make mistakes. Sometimes, they need to pay the price for them." He plucks the pin from the cap, dropping it on the floor. "General, I am officially resigning my commission. Find someone else to wage your war."

Sondrix whirls around at once. "No!"

Avocet lifts his chin. "Very impressive. And this is where I'm supposed to beg you to stay?" He doesn't touch the pin on the floor. "Your paperwork will be processed, sometime during the next month or so."

Avocet says, "If you leave your post before that paperwork is processed, you will be charged with dereliction of duty."

Rathmon rolls his eyes out of sight of the General, and quips, "About where mine is to sir?"

Avocet nods to Rathmon. "Damn straight."

Avocet mutters. "If I had a credit for every time an officer tried resigning on me this week, I wouldn't be rich, but I could buy a few whiskeys to ease the headache."

Rathmon mutters under his breath, "Might improve a few things..."

Sondrix's jaw is tight, her eyes strained. "Sir. The unit needs him sir, you know his record. Transfer me out of this unit if you must but by God, this unit needs Davian Warrick sir." She's on the verge of tears, it looks like, but she's still holding her ground firmly.

Avocet fixes his flinty eyes on Daerius. "As for the point you raise, we have such a thing as protocol in this man's Vanguard, Mister. We don't toss it aside just because the two of them get the hots for each other, cut their damned hands and tie their wrists together in some bizarre ceremony. And we won't even go into the irregularity of trying to do this underhandedly AND in a secure facility!"

Avocet snaps his head back to Sondrix. "Out of the unit. Certainly. Do you have a preferred assignment? What is your specialty, besides causing trouble?"

Warrick shakes his head. "I will not leave my post until I am dismissed. Until the formalities are fulfilled, I will serve as flawlessly as ever. You fail to understand, though, General-- if this is your decision, you are failing me as my superior officer. You are also failing the Vanguard. I am the best man for my job, and you're willing to let me go. So be it."

Singer sniffs at the general's portrayal of the ceremony, but says nothing.

Daerius raises an eyebrow. "Why not? If it is logical and works better?" He seems unpreturbed, and doesn't react as the conversation flows on.

Avocet nods to Warrick. "Yeah, I'm heartbroken."

Sondrix says tonelessly, "I am a sniper sir. I am also a forensics medical doctor, degree pending in a few months sir."

Avocet looks to Daerius. "Why not? Because it's a rule. It's a regulation. If we don't follow them, people die!"

Rathmon turns to the Specialist, "Specialist, coming from a individual who already got flayed this week, I'd not continue with the General."

Avocet blinks as he turns toward Sondrix. "A doctor?"

"Yes sir." Again the same toneless words from Sondrix.

Rathmon mutters under his breath.

Avocet says, "Forensic medicine. You can cut up corpses. Can you do a damned bit of good for the living?"

Daerius looks at Rathmon, lips quirking a bit. "I'll take that under advisement."

Rathmon eyes the General, "Sir, no need to get personal, cause your pants are tied up in knots over them being honest and doing it publically."

Again the lanky first lieutenant answers in that quiet, colorless voice, "Yes sir. I have a medical specialization in my field sir."

Avocet glances toward Rathmon. "Excuse me?"

Rathmon returns the glance, "Wish me to repeat it sir?"

Avocet says, "Honestly? I caught them trying to get hitched, without permission, in our *armory*!"

Avocet says, "Now stow it, Mister."

Rathmon chuckles, "They are Marines sir."

Daerius continues, "Perhaps you should have as well..."

Avocet turns his attention back to Sondrix. "They are for now."

Rathmon says, "The Armory is the perfectly logical place for them."

Avocet glances back to Daerius. "What did you say?"

Deth shakes his head, "If they were smart you think they would of gone navy."

Rathmon steps in front of the Specialist, "He was talking to me sir."

Avocet nods. "I damned sure hope so."

Rathmon nods, "Would you wan that whiskey now sir?"

"Please!" Sondrix's voice cuts through the myriad voices, vibrant with weariness and pain. "I will transfer out at the nearest convenience, and I am sorry for the trouble I have caused although heavens knows it won't be enough. Now sir if you please, I must get my things together and prepare." She glances to Warrick and for a moment her eyes glisten. "I'm sorry sir..." she whispers.

Daerius nods. "I was indeed, Sir." He says tone flat.

Avocet looks to Rathmon. "Are you done, or do you have no attachment to your own rank?"

Warrick gives Sondrix a wan smile. "Don't be. This is the choice I made."

Rathmon returns the glance, "As you wish, sir."

Avocet turns back to Sondrix, narrowing his eyes. "I have just the assignment for you."

Sondrix draws a deep breath, as if she is rallying whatever inner resources she has. She waits, unmoving, pale and quiet.

Avocet says, "Lieutenant Deth raised a perfectly reasonable solution."

Deth glances around, abit unsure or perhaps scared what that means.

Avocet glances to Deth, then lets his eyes drift back to Sondrix. "The Versailles needs a chief medical officer."

Avocet says, "You'll be reporting to Captain Marcus and the Versailles chain of command ASAP. I'll make your transfer official in the morning."

Sondrix's eyes flicker for a moment. "Yes sir," she returns, unable to keep the startlement from her voice. "Acknowledged sir."

Avocet grunts. "Now, if no one else has anything to try to wheedle out of me, I should probably show our visitor off the ship."

Rathmon face remains passive, holding his tongue with difficulty.

Warrick's brows lift, just slightly. "Only that you spend an appropriate period of time in consideration of my resignation of commission before accepting it, Sir."

Avocet nods to Warrick. "Oh, I'll give it all the attention it deserves."

Sondrix turns towards Singer. "Mother, thank you," she says quietly, her eyes showing her gratitude despite her wan face.

Avocet looks to the Qua woman. "Madame?"

Daerius turns to Singer and inclines his head, speaking a few quick words to her.

Rathmon turns to the new couple walking up to Warrick, "Congratulations by the way."

Warrick retrieves his cap, pin, and jacket, beginning the quiet process of re-dressing himself. Unnoticed, his hand has continued to bleed, a little trail of red running down his right forearm now.

Singer nods wordlessly to Sondrix, the age in her face magnified by her obvious concern. She replies to Daerius in a voice that threatens to crack, then moves to follow the General, her beads clacking with each soft step.

Avocet turns and strides purposefully toward the door, his boots thumping like heartbeats.

Sondrix remains where she is for a long moment before turning to Warrick. Without a word she glances at his hand, then reaches for it. "Staunch that before it gets worse sir."

Avocet heads into Corridor - Deck 2 - SCCV VERSAILLES.Avocet has left.

Singer heads into Corridor - Deck 2 - SCCV VERSAILLES.

Singer has left.

Daerius looks at Warrick and Sondrix, thinking a moment.

Warrick glances towards Rathmon, "Thank you." That slight smile returns, blooded hand rising to straighten his garrison cap.

Warrick shakes his head to Sondrix. "I am fine."

Only then does Sondrix glance towards Rathmon, her face still pale as a ghost. "Thank you sir." Very quietly."

Rathmon nods, "And Congratulations to you Lt."

Rathmon chuckles, "Well you still have some skin left."

Daerius turns on his heel and walks over to the small bar. "Which did you like better, Quicksilver. Imitation champaigne or imitation beer for a toast?" He asks absently.

Warrick looks to Sondrix, eyes somber. "Do you regret your decision?"

Sondrix's eyes, luminous and wider than normal, hold Warrick's intensely. "No. Only the trouble I've caused you."

Warrick says, "You caused me no trouble that I was unwilling to accept."

Sondrix glances to Daerius with a faint smile. "No, I won't have either FetchStorm. I think I need to go to bed." She turns back to Warrick. "For better for worse, for richer for poorer...till death do us part," she says quietly and there's a world of meaning in her words, genuine and passionate.

Rathmon steps back and merely watches proceedings contemplatively.

Deth shifts his vest briefly before yawning.

Warrick glances towards Daerius, "No champagne, I'm afraid. I find myself weary, and would seek my rack. Lieutenant, will you walk with me?" He looks towards Sondrix.

Sondrix glances to Deth. "Thank you Lieutenant, for your trouble," she says quietly. "I am sorry for subjecting you to all the trouble. Dimissed, with my thanks." She smiles, just a little as Warrick speaks. "I will, sir."

Deth stands up and cracks his back, he comments, "It was interesting at least."

Daerius calmly pour a glass of something anyway, studying it a moment before looking to the couple to watch them leave.

Sondrix walks towards Daerius first before she leaves. "Thank you FetchStorm..." she murmurs. "Wish me luck. Captain Marcus isn't going to let this be, I'm afraid. I'll see you around, old chap."

Warrick reaches out, subtly brushing Sondrix's elbow for an instant with his hand, and walks out with her.

Deth makes his way over to rathmon.

Sondrix turns, with a quiet, weary smile and goes out with Warrick. Tiredly.

Carrier Crew Berthing - SCCV VERSAILLES

Privacy never seemed to enter the equation when the designers planned this cavernous chamber, with rows of bunks three high and lockers, also stacked in threes, for personal effects. Each bed and each locker has a slot for a removable card with the stenciled name of each crew member assigned berthing here. Privachere. Privacy only seems to come into play at all are the bathrooms, with enclosed toilets - although the washbasins and showers in the gender-divided facilities are built to contain groups - not individuals - with multiple shower heads dispensing reclaimed water.

Warrick arrives from Corridor - Deck 2 - SCCV VERSAILLES.

Warrick has arrived.

Sondrix moves straight to her bunk, sitting down and looking absolutely expressionless. She picks up her pillow, quietly lays down and whisks her face into it.

Warrick moves to Sondrix's bunk with her. His hand, momentarily, brushes at her hair. Then he turns, moving off towards his own bunk and much needed sleep.

Sondrix doesn't say anything. But she is crying softly even as she draws the covers over herself and turns.

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