Kings And Queens Of The Sky
Rhace Tarrin had a very real sneaking suspicion that he had been in this exact same situation more than once already before. Now, okay, exact was a touch of an exaggeration. He had not, in fact, organised to take some very specific people to a particular new years’ party in the past. However, the fact of the matter was that there was a pattern when it came to big holiday periods - some very specific people were dragged out in order to celebrate particularly large festivals, and this seemed to be the routine that permeated their lives, over and over again. To be fair, there was a method to this particular madness: it was very specifically intended to be a way that he could show his undying and infinite gratitude for the work they put in, because as anyone who knew Rhace well enough would say, he was in way over his head. He spent his entire life learning how to wield a sword - and how to teach wielding a sword, to be rather precise about what else was involved with that - and not how to run a guild for mages that specialised in repairing natural environments. Therefore, to his aid were two very talented and (quite frankly) gorgeous deputies, who both deserved enough approbation to last a lifetime. They had somehow managed to sneak their way into his life, presumably by the fact that they’d been the ones to welcome him aboard, provide him with some good-natured needling along the way, and from there he’d found them indispensable once their original guild master had decided to return home and had handed the reins of what was very literally a gigantic alien sky whale starship over to him.
Yeah, to say the last year had been eventful had been the understatement of the century. When life decided to take a hard left turn, then a couple loop de loops, and then a one hundred and eighty degree twist from there, yeah, the trajectory of ambition usually changed along with it. Rhace had originally not been overjoyed by this change, but with their help he’d changed his mind to be a little more amenable to the new outlook. It had not been easy, truthfully. That change had been a hard pill to swallow, especially because the way he had been raised bred into his mind the necessity of living up to the family tradition. Running Meliora Vitae all but prohibited that from happening - but, with their help, he’d come around. After all, doing something along with the people you loved was a lot easier than going at it alone. Cass and Cord had been nothing but the best pair of assistants he could have ever asked for, and he found that he likely would have survived neither life nor his captaincy without their assistance.
As always Rhace wanted to throw them a party, or take them to something, in order to celebrate the event that was about to go down. The end of the year was usually either incredibly high-key and a party, or very low-key and something best celebrated in small groups. However, he’d decided that it might have been a good idea to avoid the crowds and the hustle and bustle of suburbia this time. While they didn’t normally get to leave the ship more often than not, he knew he was going to have to really turn the dial to eleven to ring in the end of the year for the two people that he cared about the most in his life. Last time was Halloween, where they’d attended a local festival - there, things had gone… more than slightly south when they’d tried going through some manner of illusory haunted tunnel. That was a mistake that he was never going to repeat, considering that Cordelia had come out of it feeling not only worse for wear but apparently shaken to the core. No, this time he was going to do something a little bit different.
Actually, by different, Rhace was going to leverage everything he’d learned about his gigantic sky whale and put it to perfect use.
The Endeavor had been flagged down to an absolute skeleton crew at this stage. Anyone who was non-essential for third shift operation had been given some liberty time to do whatever they wished with. Many had returned to Fiore in order to see their loved ones, and almost every single shuttle had been whisked off the ship’s deck– and some couldn’t be removed fast enough. A lot of the crew had decided to disembark at their temporary pitstop at Maclean Park, where all of the crew of the ship were given the opportunity to enjoy any part of the park for free should they so desire. Those who remained aboard were either working, or there by choice. Rhace had asked both Cassiti and Cordelia to stay behind.
This time, the ship had been given specific instructions, and both of the executive officers had been barred from the bridge for the remainder of the evening in order for Rhace to conceal his mystery. It was a moment created in two parts: first, he had requested that the kitchen prepare a light meal– really, a midnight snack, considering the event– and to prepare that for his collection at one hour before midnight Fiore local time. The second was that the ship, at that exact moment, was going to begin a very slow climb. One that was almost imperceptible, so that Cass and Cord wouldn’t be able to work out what was going on.
There was a clearing in the centre of the Arboretum that he’d already picked out for the moment - in fact, it was the exact same place that Rhace and Dagda had discussed their mission to return the stone titan home. There was a viewing platform there that afforded them a view over the bow of the ship, which would, when the time was right, provide an exact view that Rhace was rather hoping the two girls he’d invited out would enjoy as much as he was going to.
The message in their group chat was simple:
Thanks for waiting! Come to the Arboretum viewing platform when you’re ready.
And there he waited - picnic basket set up, drinks already laid out with glasses, sandwiches and other nibbles made ready for them for the moment they arrived. Having already donned his rather comfortable white double-breasted jacket, the black-haired captain waited with bated breath, hoping to see what their reaction to the first part of the show would be.
MEL @ WW