Rende stared at herself in the mirror. The gold dress uniform and her citations and medals. She sighed heavily. “How did we get here, Eldorin? You there and me here? In gold no less. When did I stop being a rebel?” The gold looked strange to her. Rende had commanded many times many people in her years, but this was different. She touched the malka double hexagon on her right ear. She remembered their wedding, how she loved that man. How she missed him now. What had gone wrong, after all this time together? Or was it they were just so long lived that it was natural? It didn’t matter, she missed him. They had promised to go through all their years together, side-by-side. Now there was more than light years between them. A letter blinked on her console, half started, trying to find the words. She looked back at her reflection, “You’d laugh at me, El. With all these shinny bits and bobs on my uniform. A yeoman to make sure they are all pinned and polished, just so. I would tell you I would rather be outnumbered by Zryllian fire mongers than do this.” She pulled at the neck of the shirt and arched her neck back and forth. “You would tell me I’m brave enough to face anything and to get going and shove me out the door.” She sighed, “I miss you, El.”
Rende straightened her shoulders, tugged the shirt down, brushed non-existent lint off her pants, and then executed a perfect about face and left her quarters. She made her way to the shuttle bay, where her Yeoman, had indeed been very busy. The Federation Flag was on display, the Sentinel banner, a good majority of the crew was already filing into ranks, and a podium stood at the front of the area.
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