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[b “That sounds most remarkable, Victoria.”] He tells the woman after she explains the things she's seen. Truth be told, Zhane has never been outside of the Akadian Empire, and has only been between the two systems ruled by his people and the Daavi. He wanted to travel throughout the universe, learn new things, meet new beings, and experience all that life had to offer... But alas, that was not his destiny. His destiny was to stay here and to rule his people and the Daavi alongside his betrothed. It wasn't the life he wanted, but it was the life given to him, and that would have to be enough.
With a smile, he leads her to one of the grav-ships, a small passenger vehicle that could fit six comfortably. It had a small table in the middle with what appeared t be drinking glasses and a small cask of liquid fastened in the center. There was a driver, but it was what appeared to be some kind of automated robot.
[b “I know you must dictate everything you see for your records, but there are many places on Akadia Prime full of beauty. If you can abstain from putting down the exact location as you have said, then that is all I would ask of you.”] He sits down in one of the comfortable seats and motions for her to sit in one across from him. Once she does, the ship seems to shift its interior a little, bringing the seats closer together and closer to the table in the centre. The door then shuts with air hissing and soon enough it takes off, although the only indication that it took off was the changing scenery outside of the windows. It flew so smoothly it felt like they weren't moving at all.
[b “Please, have a drink with me. Its customary for the guests of royalty to share one.”] And when he said 'share one', he wasn't kidding. He filled one glass with the liquid from the cask. It was purple in colour and had what appeared to be gold swirled through it. It filled the back with a pleasantly sweet aroma as it appeared to be more likened to juice than it did to alcohol. Zhane takes a sip from it before placing it back on the table for Victoria to take a sip. It would be sweet to drink and very refreshing, almost like a thick mango juice.
Zhane knew they had gotten close to their destination when the bright sky suddenly changed to that of what appeared to be evening. Day and night worked differently here because of the two suns, but it appeared in this area, it was almost like a sliver of an eclipse. They were just in time. The shuttle lands in a clearing in the middle of a forest with blue and purple trees. The suns continue to sort of separate in the sky, making this part of the area grow dark slowly. It was nearly time.
[b “Please come with me.”] Zhane insists, taking her hand, leading her out of the shuttle, and through part of the forest. Soon enough, they're at the edge of a small hill made of rocks, dominated by threes on all sides with small purple flower bulbs at the bed of them. Just a few meters below them, they were looking at a small pool of water with the same bulbs surrounding it.
The sky got darker. And darker. And darker. And once it appeared to be night in this slivered area, something happened. The flower bulbs began to glow a fluorescent blue, and once they met a crescendo of light, they bloomed, more light coming from them, small motes of light floating out of the centre and in to the trees above. The light reflected off of the pool of water in front of the two and made it appear to glow. It looked like a portal in to another dimension, and he could only describe it like Cosmic magic in Akadian legends.
[b “I have never showed anyone this place before.”] Not even his younger brother or sister, but they wouldn't appreciate it like he did. [b “You possess a remarkable eye, Victoria, so I thought you would appreciate the splendour of this place.”] It reminded him of how big the universe could be. A sliver like this on Akadia Prime that was overlooked by its people because the suns set here often, yet so beautiful. It was hard to imagine what else he might see in other places. And he couldn't think of anyone he would want to share that with other than the woman standing next to him right now.
Victoria Tilted her head to the side as the prince spoke about how adventurous her life is. He was right, there are many stories to be told with her life. Victoria enjoyed the life of adventure but at the same time, envious of those with a stable place to call home. Of course, Victoria had an apartment back on Earth, but it still wasn’t the same as having a network of friends. Victoria felt envious of the prince for having a determined destiny. She thought she would indulge his curiosity of her life just a little bit. [b “I’ve been planets with stars that were purple, planets where they shared three suns. There was one that had a pulsar star. I’ve met with many different life forms. Some looked like talking plants while others were three feet tall. There was one that stood out before coming here. They stood tall and mighty, looked almost human. Although their skins had a range of blues and purples.”] She said.
Victoria listened to the way he talked about his soon to be wife, and it was clear this wasn’t his idea. Although many humans would consider the practice of arranged marriages outdated, some still practiced it. Considering Akadia Prime was mainly an imperial power, it wouldn’t be uncommon for them to practice this custom. Even though it was outdated, she didn’t consider it to be as barbaric as others she’s seen. Although her name did sound pretty and the features they had held promise. Victoria could see the beauty in everything, even some slime aliens that they have encountered in the past.
“The Daavi people sound like they are pretty interesting themselves. I’m surprised that not only have I met one humanoid race, but soon to be three. It’s rare to find one, let along three, and two of them almost have the same genetic make up as a human.” Victoria said, still taking everything in. Her tablet silently notified her of medication she needed to take. Victoria turned to tell Zanye that she had to go until he told her there was something he wanted to show her. She just blinked before she was lead off towards a vehicle of some sort.
“I cannot promise that I can’t keep it a secret, but I don’t have to put down the exact location. We just can’t stay too long. I’ve been to many planets in my time, but I still need time to adjust to gravity and stuff.” She said, pressing her lips together. There was no way they were going to be long.
[b “Oh,”] Zhane says. He didn't realize perhaps how dated the books he had acquired were. He still wasn't sure on certain niceties and little social faux pas he might make towards a human. Compared to the Akadians they seemed to be a fairly chaste people. He would have to keep what Victoria had told him in mind in the future so he didn't embarrass himself like he felt now. But it seemed she wasn't overtly offended by it, unless her turning a little pink meant otherwise. [b “Forgive me if I had made any offence.”]
He watches as she sketches him, and keeps his eyes on hers as she looks in wonder at the flora around them. Zhane had always thought Akadia was beautiful, and he's lived here his entire life, he couldn't imagine what someone unaccustomed to it must feel, especially if they possessed a fine eye like Victoria seemed to. She took pictures and she drew, much like the many artisans on Akadia did, noted the beauty of a particular object or event. So when told the events of her were to essentially remain invisible, he frowned a little at that.
As she said this, she began standing in front of and sketching an Eldar Stone Flower. It appeared to be a spiral rock with strange crystal-like markings on it, but it was indeed a flower. They bloomed during the spring season and their pollen was beautifully aromatic and the insides of the flower itself a delicacy in Akadian culture. Truly a remarkable specimen. And so was the very woman standing in front of it. A very humble individual with a keen eye and interest. Her face must like the stone flower she was standing before was beautiful and symmetrical, and her masterfully crafted coat fitting to her curves with wonderful grace. Poets made songs about people like Victoria Grace. He didn't realize he was staring until she turned around to face him again and he quickly looked to something else in the royal garden. [b “That is too bad, Victoria. I'm sure your life is very interesting considering how much you must be adventuring.”] He responds. And once she responds back with her own questions about his wife to-be, he does his best not to frown, keeping a neutral expression. It was his expressionless face was his best impression of an Argonite.
Alongside Victoria, he looks up in to the sky to watch the aerial traffic zoom by. Despite the sheer volume of the vehicles, it was mostly quiet because of the anti-gravity thrusters. Even the ships that flew off in to space were quite quiet, having a combination of anti-grav technology and a fusion propulsion system. Watching the twinkling lights speed by like shooting stars was calming to him and reminded him of what was at stake.
[b “My betrothed is named Alura. I'm not sure how familiar you are on the Daavi people, but she is the Princess of their people and once the two of us wed, both of our empires will amalgamate in to one, ruled by the two of us.”] His expression grew what appeared to be tired. It was clear he wasn't exactly thrilled with the idea. He wouldn't admit it though, it was far too close to the wedding for him to be doing that and he didn't want the Earthlings to be put off by them. This was a rather delicate time with a lot of things happening at once; Argonite representatives were even in talks about an alliance as well. [b “The Daavi are similar in appearance to us, but their irises take up their whole eyes, they have pointed ears, and birth markings on their faces and bodies. I don't expect you've met with any of the Daavi just yet?”] He asks and thinks about it. This was probably her first time on Akadia Prime, and he was told he needed to show them a good time.
He looks back down to Victoria in to her soft eyes. [b “I want to suggest something that might seem out of the ordinary,”] He begins. [b “But I would like to show you a part of this planet not many people know about, later tonight.”] He thinks on it for a moment. [b “But don't tell anyone.”] He hadn't even told his wife to be about its existence, but there was something about Victoria that made him want to share this magical place with her.
Victoria was distracted on the flowers around as the king and her father went to go meet the crown prince. She kept being told to keep up as she found herself drifting to some of the bioluminescent flowers around. She wasn’t paying attention to what was really going on. When Victoria and her father finally met the prince, she was taken back by his looks. She anticipated someone who may have looked like they were fifteen. Instead is was someone who looked like she was her age even though she looked young. Victoria is 24 years old, being one of the younger captains in her country.
Victoria did what she was known for, recording history, and she brought out her pen and tablet and started to sketch out Zhane. She had the philosophy that if you take the time to notice the details, you’ll understand it more. Zhane was someone who would be Victoria’s taste, although he is about to get married. She listening to them talk some more before the hand she was drawing with was gently acquired. She looked up when she the subject for drawings right there, close to her. When he kissed the back of her hand, she slightly jolted back, and her face turned red. He said something about reading it in a book.
“These were customs back when space travel wasn’t even a thought.” She said, allowing him to take her to a bench. She clutched the tablet to her chest tightly. “But that’s not a custom that many humans use today. It is also considered disrespect on many fronts.” She brought the tablet back up to finish up the sketch she was making of Zhane. Was this totally unprofessional and creepy of itself, totally. Victoria always would play it off as her job. She looked around in awe and the beauty of this world. Victoria started to stare intently at the flower in from of her. The way it sparkled kept demanding her attention. She quickly got a picture of the flower before turning her attention again to the prince. He wanted to know what it was like on Earth, and to be fair Victoria didn’t have the answer he was looking for. Most of her life was inside of the space craft, meeting new people in different types of world. She didn’t have a typical childhood.
“To be honest, I really don’t have the answers for you when comes to Earth’s culture. My job is to record your wedding to the princess.” Victoria said before getting up from the bench and walking to something that caught her eyes. She began a new drawing of the thing; her back was turned to the prince who exceeded her expectations. “My main job is to record a new race and its customs. I’m usually invisible, so I don’t get asked what life is like as a human.” She smiled before turning to face him. She noted the way the light hit his face, it was different from Earth’s light, and even other planet’s.
“Although, I would love to hear about what your wife-to-be is like?” She asked, finishing up before walking back to the bench. “We didn’t get a chance to talk to them, sadly.” She leaned back, watching some of the cars buzz above them. She was so far enjoying being here.
Today was going to be a strange week. The universe had always been a small place, especially for the Akadians and their advanced technology. For countless millennia they had allied, fought, and even colonized worlds in the universe much like many other races they have encountered. But this one was new. These people from a placed called 'Earth'. A fledgling in comparison to the Akadian System, but similar in appearance to them much like the Daavi or Argonites, although lacking the psychic abilities of the latter. They had made contact with the Akadian System some time ago and were now moving for an alliance, something the Akadians were not used to.
The Akadian System was a the collection of many solar systems that made up a portion of this particular galaxy. The others were smaller and peaceful races, while one of the larger of the empires, the Daavi Empire. The Akadians and Daavi were at war for centuries until the cease fire and uneasy treaty that was enacted a few hundred years ago. Both systems ran on a system of government like a monarchy, with a ruler King and subjects. Both contemporary Kings decided it was best for both sets of people if they could ally themselves together, and in as a show for their alliance they decided to wed the Akadian King's son to the Daavi King's daughter, much to the Akadian Prince's chagrin.
Ever the romantic, the crowned Prince of the Akadian people believed in true love. Although arranged marriage was common practice by the Akadians, and especially so on their capital planet of Akadia Prime, the Prince Zhane believed it to be an outdated practice that needed to be reformed. However, seeing how important it was for the safety of the many planets in the Akadian System and the Daavi people, Zhane reluctantly accepted. It might not be what was best for him, but it was what was best for his people.
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The capital city of Akadia Prime was the largest city on the planet, as well as on all other Akadian controlled planets. It was a technological beauty, much of the city working on its own, and much of it worked on anti-gravity engines. The vehicle bringing the human's was silver and of a slek design, its engine silent and its anti-gravity thrusters making the ride towards the palace as smooth as a cruise ship ride.
They escorted by a small Akadian entourage in to the throne room, a large room full of many holographic designs and imagery. The two Earthlings are met by the Akadian King Andros who bows his head to the two as well. “No need for the pageantry, Samuel, we're already friends here.” He trades grips with Samuel before turning his attention to his daughter. King Andros was an older mam with a white beard, a slack belly, and kind eyes. He wore what appeared to be the latest fashion on Akadia which was a red overcoat with gold filigree and strange patterns running down the sides. “Ah yes, young Victoria. It is a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance. You're even more beautiful than I had been told, and us Akadians have an eye for beauty!” He laughs at that and beckons for them to follow him, leading them through the large palace.
“My son is reading in the garden. I told him of your arrival but he must have lost track of time again.” They stop in front of an ornately decorated double doors that swing up and off to the side revealing the garden to them. The vegetation was much more different than that of Earth. There was the standard green of grass and stems, but the leaves and bulbs of trees and flowers were different in many variation. Blue or purple where it should be green, green or white where it should be yellow, and when petals fell from the flows they sparkled like diamonds in the sunlight generated by the two suns in the sky. And in the centre of this cornucopia of colours was Zhane, the Akadian Prince.
Zhane himself was dressed much like his father, although in darker blues and greys. In his hands was a tablet made of glass that scrolled as his eyes moved, and when the group got close enough, he looks up from the tablet to them. He quickly pans from the King to the new comers, but lingers on the younger female. The Akadians truly did have an eye for beauty.
“Samuel and Victoria this is my son, Zhane.” And a the introduction Zhane bows his head ever so slightly to them.
[b “Forgive me, I thought you were coming this afternoon.”] He offers.
“It is afternoon.” The King responds and Zhane's eyes widen slightly. This makes the King laugh and he pats Samuel on the shoulder. “There is much I have to show you Samuel, so please follow me and we can let these two discuss. I know Zhane is more than eager to learn about you humans.” He places his hand more firmly on Samuel's shoulder and leads him back the way he came, leaving Zhane and Victoria alone in the garden.
He takes a few steps towards Victoria and takes her hand, planting a small kiss on the back of it. [b “I was reading that this is how you greet a beautiful woman on Earth.”] He pronounced it 'Ee-arth'. [b “I was also told you were interested in learning more about our politics and the wedding.”] He motions towards what appeared to be a bench made of spiralled metal and glass. [b “Please sit and join me. I'm just as interested in you as you are interested in me.”]
History was about to be made, humans witnessing a royal wedding from another race. It wasn’t long ago that the humans first found life on another alien race among the stars. However, this was the first time the humans were able to find another race that has also achieved space travel. It was imperative that the humans made this alliance to make more. This find was even more impressive since the race they found mirrored that of the humans. So, no matter what, everything within this week had to go well. That notion sat heavily on Victoria’s mind.
This wasn’t her first mission with the other races, in fact she’s been the sole reason why some of the races have decided to ally themselves with the humans. Victoria, known as captain Grace to some, knew wat she was doing. Victoria was a good at recording the history and culture of another race. A royal wedding was a great opportunity to document the politics of a different, but identical race. Right now, Victoria and her father sat in a vehicle, being transported to the royal palace to meet the royal family. Her father as met the king a few times and been friendly. The two felt someone younger could help strengthen the bounds with the crown prince. Even though there were many qualified to help, her father chose her.
That didn’t matter at this moment for Victoria, as she looked out the window in aw of the beauty she had seen. This world, was not like any of the others she’s been to. The technology she had seen was ground breaking for her race. The other worlds have had their own technology, but nothing like this. Even the vehicle they were in was something Earth would benefit from. She continued to look out until this impressive building came into view. Her eyes lit up and she sat up straight. Her father, Samuel Grace, looked and chuckled.
“That is the Palace.” He said. Victoria was still stunned before she looked towards her father. “It’s beautiful.” She stated as the vehicle got closer. Once they came to a stop, the two got out. Both were in full military uniforms. They resembled that of old Victorian admiral coats, Victoria’s being form fitting to her curves. Both uniforms in shape looked the same but in design they were massively different. Her father’s was a light grey, that went down to the knees. His pants looked more like dress pants that has a straight cute. Victoria’s coat went straight to the ground and was black with red maple leaves. This gave her visual advantage to be identified more easily. Everything she was wearing fit her tightly, allowing for movement if she needed to. Her long brown hair was up in a pony tail. Each uniform had cords handing from the shoulders. Her father being a decorated officer, had more than herself.
The two were escorted into the throne room, Victoria watching her father from the corner of her eye as they stepped closer to the king. They both bowed to him out of respect like they were taught. Her father then spoke to the throne. “Your majesty, I am sorry it took longer than usual. The solar flares out of the Lennox system were tough to get out of. May I present to you, Victoria Grace, my daughter. She is hear to help document the royal wedding.” Victoria then bowed herself before rising. “Hello, your majesty, it is an honor to finally make your acquaintance.”
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