During this war, the chapel on Starfleet Academy's ground had been used more for funerals than weddings, so it was celebrated event to have Vice Admiral Archer's wedding there. The media covered it greedily with holo-cameras positioned outside on the ground and in the air with media drones. The along with flag officers, including Fleet Admiral Yamamoto and Admiral Morse, the original crew of the Enterprise was gathered for the event.
Lieutenant Commander Sato, Lieutenant Commander Mayweather, newly promoted Captain Reed, Commander Kelby, Lieutenant Commander Hess, Chief Petty Officer Cutler, Master Chief Petty Officer Rostov, and even MACOs such as Sergeant Cole were all in attendance. They either arrived singly or accompanied by other officers. In addition, Captain Shran, Lieutenant Commander Endilev came representing Andorians now within Starfleet. But this was Jonathan Archer' wedding so Coalition members came: Ambassador Soval, Ambassador Tos, Ambassador Gral and a Tellerite delegation, Prime Minister Telev and an Andorian delegation, and more.
On the bride's side, there were celebrities, also, fewer than on Archer's side, but ones that were now hailed as heroes among heroes. Along with his family and his ever-present XO, Fleet Captain Tucker arrived. He walked stiffly with a cane and a back brace since he was still in rehab with his back injury. Commander T'Pol remained vigilantly at his side heating the rumors about them. Of course, the truth about them was far more interesting than the rumors.
Looking relaxed and oddly happy among the family, Tala was there taking care of Juliet. She had been assimilated into the Tucker family. After many years of discipline and ambition, she relished the simplicity of her current life. She even enjoyed getting to know her sister.
Of course, more than media eyes were on this wedding. Part of the Vulcan delegation was a deep planted Romulan spy. A Tal Shiar agent reporting directly to Tavon, Muvar secretly took images of Tala. He had been told to keep an eye out for SubCommander Tala. Tavon said she would probably have taken on the disguise of a Human. Muvar was almost sure that the attractive nanny of Archer and Mary Ellen Tucker's baby was the SubCommander. It would be up to General Tavon to verify her, though.
The wedding was simple. It was performed by a Starfleet chaplain. Trip was the best man and Mary Ellen asked T'Pol to be her maid of honor, mainly because she knew she wouldn't leave Trip's side. She had become possessive of him since the accident. It was as if she was reminded of his short life and mortality. She was going to protect him now as much as possible.
When the chaplain told Archer he could kiss his bride, only the most observant noticed how T'Pol touched her middle and index finger of her right hand to the middle and index finger of his right hand in a Vulcan finger embrace, ozh'esta. Trip's face lit up with a big smile when she did it. Soval noticed it and there was a slight upturn of his mouth. Even for a Vulcan it was warming to see love during war.
Admiral Mirac was sent to replace Talok. Tavon was satisfied with this since Mirac's reputation was as a solid if unremarkable admiral. It was as if the praetor was giving Tavon a chance to be the main influence behind their gathering invasion of Coalition space.
As ships gathered, Tavon and Mirac worked on the plan. Since the guerrilla war of twenty-four ships worked so well, Tavon believed a guerrilla war of two hundred ships would damage this young Coalition beyond repair. Both the senator and the Praetor agreed to the plan. Tavon knew his future was tied to the success of this plan. The ships and the captains needed to be drilled and given sectors of Coalition space. They needed to be taught how to fight a guerilla war and take advantage of Orion Syndicate and Nausicaan space. The ships would be assigned groups and the groups would be assigned targets.
Tavon had four goals in mind with his guerrilla war: one, destroy the Coalition; two, find Tala; three, plant the seeds of unification; and, four, become the next proconsul of the Romulan Star Empire.
At the reception, being held in the largest hall reserved for graduation, Fleet Admiral Yamamoto made his way to Trip's table as people danced after a delicious meal. His family was circulating, including Tala with Juliet, leaving T'Pol seated beside Trip as they watched the festivities. Yamamoto sat down across from Trip.
"Congratulations to your family," he smiled.
"Thank you, sir," said Trip.
"I heard that your rehab is going well. The refit of the Paladin is going well also. Do you still wish to be her captain?" he asked.
Trip was taken aback by the question. There was a part of him that wanted to be relieved of duty and the burden of command, but he knew this war was far from over. He was responsible for Skann and others joining this fight, so he had no right to leave the field of battle just yet.
"Yes," he answered softly.
T'Pol cocked her right eyebrow in surprise. The emotions flowing through their bond told her that he didn't want the command any longer, yet he answered differently.
"Good. She is yours for as long as you wish," he said.
Yamamoto stood up and nodded his head towards T'Pol, "When you are recovered we must have lunch."
"Do you have another fool's assignment for me to do, sir?" smiled Trip.
"Fleet Captain, there is no one I trust more than you and your starship," said Yamamoto. "Give my best to your family."
Yamamoto strolled away. T'Pol touched her finger to his once again.
"You wanted to resign," she said.
"What I want and what I have to do are two different things, darlin'," he said.
"I understand," she said.
"Thank you," he said.
"I would like to speak to Phlox about getting pregnant," she said. "Do you think I should talk to him, or should I wait for an end to this war?"
"No, darlin', talk to him. Get him working on our problem again," Trip said.
She felt his joy through their bond. It comforted her. No more needed to be said. They sat back and watched the dancing. Soon the cake would be brought out and the bridge and groom would cut it. The wedding would then start to wind down and once again, the war would dominate some many who attending this wedding life.
It's time to get back to work, thought Trip.
The next installment will be called Warriors and will be the fourth year of the Romulan War.