Complied from various log files.
Hanna’s, Meeting Room 2
A half hour before noon, Day 300
“I can’t believe Rajnar actually managed to make dress uniforms for all of us on top of the gowns for the girls,” Gabe said, nervously adjusting his medals in the makeshift mirror in the back room of Hanna’s that had been converted into a dressing room for the two grooms.
“I know,” Connor laughed. “And to think, he could have saved the cloth on yours and made that wedding tent we were talking about instead. I just hope it doesn’t rain.” Gabe playfully swiped at his brother as Andy and Chavez strode into the room.
“The real miracle is that you two can see straight,” Andy chuckled, hearing Connor’s jibe. “The way you boys were putting drinks away last night I was half expecting to have to carry you to the altar. And considering we’re fresh out of forklifts for our tall friend here, it’s probably for the best that we don’t.” He paused. “I know how Gabe does it, but what’s your secret Connor?”
“I’m Irish,” Connor replied, deadpan. “Plus, my right leg is hollow. Shh,” he whispered, looking around conspiratorially, “don’t tell.”
Andy bellowed laughter, slapping his friend on the back. “It’s a good thing this crew avoids drinking to excess. We wouldn’t have any of Gabe’s ethanol left over for the generators if we did.” He glanced at the pile of guns, holsters and harnesses on the table next to the door.
“Gabe, we agreed. No guns. There are only eight of them there, and I see both of Connor’s. Hand it over,” he said, putting his hand out. After a moment Gabe rolled his eyes and reached behind his back and under his jacket and pulled out a small pistol.
“It’s just a SIG, it’s not like I kept one of the Alaskans or the shotgun.” He handed Andy the gun. “All right, all right. But if we get invaded during the ceremony I’m holding you personally responsible.”
Chavez chuckled. “You two ready for the big day?” he asked.
“Can’t we just find some bad guys to go shoot instead?” Gabe asked plaintively.
“You can do that next week. Today you’ve got to be brave man,” Chavez replied grasping Gabe’s shoulder in mock earnestness, “for Elana. Plus, if you cross her you probably won’t last the day. She’s got what I’d wager is the most dangerous set of bridesmaids ever assembled.”
Gabe threw his head back, roaring laughter and wiping his eyes. “Yeah, I suspect you’re right. Besides, she’s, you know, my soul mate, so ducking out at this point would probably be a mistake. But I’m going to hold you to that – next week we get to go find some bad guys. OK?”
“Absolutely. It’s a date.” The four men burst out in laughter.
Hanna’s, Meeting Room 1 A half hour before noon, Day 300
“I can’t believe what an amazing job Rajnar did on these dresses!” Elana exclaimed, twirling around, the silky white fabric flowing around her. “And look at you Kaiya! Connor’s going to have quite the time of it trying to last until this evening with you looking that gorgeous.”
Kaiya blushed, smoothing her form fitting blue Chinese wedding dress. “You think so?”
“Girl, forget the evening. He’s going to have a hard time making it through the service,” Kat laughed. “Oh, sorry Jai.”
“I’m just trying not to think too hard is all.” The women laughed, with Summer giving her shooter a hardy slap on the back.
“Don’t worry, Kaiya’s thinking hard enough about it for all of us!” she joked as Jai gave her a playful shove.
“Aw, come on. That ain’t right!” Kat shook her head, grinning.
“Seriously though, you two ladies are absolutely stunning.” Kara said. “If you weren’t so set on Connor and Gabe you could have any other guy out there. A few of the gals too, I’m sure.” That sent a wave of giggles through the women again.
Janie glanced at the clock on the wall. “Well, it’s about that time. Shall we ladies?”
Day 300, Evening
The service was beautiful. Chen-Ling and John (acting in his late father’s stead) pulled out all the stops to make the day everything Kaiya and Elana could have hoped for, and of course Connor and Gabe pitched as much as they were allowed. Aya and Arra were the flower girls, spreading brilliant white and royal blue petals, and they also doubled as the ring bearers for the two couples (the rumor was that Connor and Gabe, not wanting to choose, drew straws to decide which twin delivered the ring to which groom). Thal Isaacson, who in addition to being an incredible permaculturist also happened to be and ordained Unitarian minister, presided over the ceremony, and each of the brides and grooms wrote their own vows, which were very touching but which I won’t bore you with now. The party afterwards was widely acclaimed as the best since the Dancer touched down, with a fresh batch of beer brewed especially for it and probably the best spread the colonists had seen since leaving Earth. And then of course there were the toasts from the best men.
Andy stood up, tapping his mug with a fork (there not being proper Champaign glasses, or, for that matter, Champaign). After a moment the crowd quieted down.
“Thank you. It is my privilege, my honor, to be the best man of Gabriel Benjamin today. I’ve known Gabe for a lot of years. He has saved my life more than once and it has been my pleasure to return the favor.”
“You still owe me one!” Gabe interrupted him.
“I’m working on it. Now shhh, I’m trying to tell all these nice people how great a guy you are and you’re ruining the effect.” The guests laughed. “Anyway, as I was saying,” he continued, looking meaningfully at Gabe, “throughout his life he has put others’ lives in front of his own on a regular basis. Luckily for Elana he’s built like a brick shithouse and it looks like he’s going to die of lead poisoning or old age before the bullet with his name on it finds him. Not so luckily for her he’s had more work done on him than your average farmer’s pickup and as a result if you ever see him with his shirt off he looks about like a roadmap of Downtown Tehran after I got through with it.” That got a few more laughs, especially from the happy couple.
“But truthfully, he’s spent most of his life in the service of everyone but himself and he deserves something good, and I cannot imagine anything better for him than having Elana as a wife. Sometimes there are two people just meant to be together from Day 1, and I truly believe that these are two such people. You would not believe the story of how they met even if they told you, and I doubt they will. And by the way, don’t ask me. He still has some blackmail material on both Mariana and I.” He raised his mug. “To two soul mates. To Gabe and Elana!”
“To Gabe and Elana!” came the assorted reply. As Andy sat down Chavez stood up.
“Well damnit Andy, that’s a tough act to follow up! Why’d you have to get all eloquent and sh-stuff? Sorry, children present, children present, I know,” he apologized to some laughter and cleared his throat. “Connor and I only go back about six years, not including travel time,” he began, glancing and gesturing meaningfully up towards the sky, “but I feel like we’ve known each other much longer. He’s spent those years with one thing in mind; doing right by his girls. Everything else took a back seat, and lord knows with aiding the rebellion in the back seat any notion of taking care of himself was dragging behind the car. He kept himself up because of Jai, Aya and Arra, and for no other reason. It’s funny how these things turn out sometimes. He took his family to Alchibah to give them the potential for a wonderful new life and in doing so accidentally found one for himself. He is lucky to have found Kaiya, and her him. Chavez raised his mug, “To Connor and Kaiya!”
“To Connor and Kaiya!”