Starfleet Academy Memorial Chapel: San Francisco, Earth
The stone halls of the Academy Chapel were the oldest on campus. The building dated back to the school's founding two centuries prior in 2161. Generations of cadets had passed through this room, many of whom would go on to become legends in their own rights. In front of the altar was a slab of polished, snow-white Andorian marble etched with the name of a Federation hero who now rested eternally in the crypt below:
JONATHAN BECKETT ARCHER
Captain of the Starship USS Enterprise: NX-01
Starfleet Chief of Staff
Federation Ambassador to Andoria
Federation Councilor for United Earth
Fifth President of the United Federation of Planets
Stained glass lit the gothic inspired space in the brilliant colors of the early morning sun outside. The largest window was the blue and white crest of the United Federation of Planets above the rear doors which bathed the entire space in soft, blue light. A balcony ringed the second story of the long, rectangular hall. Hanging down over the rows of worn, wooden pews were 152 flags from every member world of the Federation.
As the guests arrived to be seated by the ushers, many looked to the front of the room where above the altar, a huge piece of Vulcanian fire marble was etched with the gilded words:
WE BOLDLY GO SO THAT ALL MAY LIVE IN PEACE
As the hour chimed in the belfry above, a wooden door beside the altar opened and a priest dressed in white robes and green vestments stepped out. He was followed by Phil, Daredevil, Tigranian, and Scharr. All were wearing their pressed, dress whites. As they took their positions in front of the chapel, Phil reached over and shook the priest's hand.
"Thank you so much, Father Ramsey," he said gratefully.
"Your family has been coming to my church since you were shorter than my knees," he replied with a kind smile. "Of course, I wanted to perform your wedding."
"You ready, Sab?" Daredevil said putting a hand on his shoulder.
"I think so…" he said with a smile. Dee smiled back and nodded to a woman in the corner with a small comm unit.
The chapel organist brought her instrument to life and the chamber echoed with the strains Bach's "Prelude in C Major." The doors at the back of the chapel parted to revealed Laria, dressed in a cream colored dress and carrying a small bouquet of flowers. She began her march down the center aisle, followed by Alex, T'les, and then Annabeth as matron of honor. The audience in the pews whispered happily to themselves and many snapped holophotos.
Tigranian beamed as he saw his wife draw near and take her place mirrored on the other side of the altar. Soon, the other bridesmaids joined her and Phil felt his heart really start to pound. The back doors closed again as the organ came to an abrupt halt.
"Get ready, Lexington," Annabeth whispered over to him. "She's definitely dressed to impress."
Phil began breathing so hard that Dee reached out a hand to steady him.
"Calm down there, Sab," Dee whispered. "She's got a long walk and you don't wanna pass out before she gets here."
The back doors opened again and the room climbed to its feet. Phil's mouth dropped as he saw a woman in white standing next to Chief Stone. The organ began the thunderous strains of Handel's "March." Time seemed to slow down for Phil as Katie began her slow walk down the center of the chapel. The entire wedding party smiled as they immediately saw joy replace fear on Phil's face.
Katie beamed from beneath her veil as everyone in the pews looked at her with tremendous love and admiration. She had dreamed about this moment for a very long time, and it was everything she had ever hoped for.
In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Katie and Chief Stone were in front of the altar. Her father leaned over and placed a soft kiss on her daughter's cheek. He then reached over and placed Katie's hand into Phil's.
"I love you so much, K," he whispered softly. "You're the best thing I've ever done with my life and I'm so proud of you."
"I love you too, Dad," Katie replied. Phil looked over to him and said:
"Thank you." Chief Stone nodded.
"Welcome to the family," he grinned before taking his seat next to Ashley in the front row. Katie stepped next to Phil and then handed her bouquet of white lilies to Annabeth. The two of them looked up to Father Ramsey who held out his arms to welcome the congregation.
"Good morning, Everyone," he said smiling. "It is always a wonderful and blessed event to bring two people together in the bonds of holy matrimony. However, before we begin, the couple has asked to replace the traditional opening hymn with a tribute to those they love and care about that are no longer with us. Please rise and join us all in a moment of reflective silence."
The audience rose to their feet once more and bowed their heads. Phil squeezed Katie's hand and steadied her as they turned around to face the audience. A few months back, she asked him if he would be alright with what was about to come. He immediately agreed. Both had lost people while in the service, but she especially needed a moment to connect with the fallen. After all, she owed her life to them.
After a few quiet seconds, Father Ramsey looked up towards the second story and nodded. A bugler stood up and began to mournfully play the opening bars of a solemn hymn. With him, the entire Cadet Glee Club in their grey dress uniforms appeared behind the balcony railing. On the walls surround the entire chapel were black marble plaques etched with the name of every starship lost in service to the nation. Over the centuries, hundreds of names had been added as the Federation expanded out in every direction towards the stars. The rear doors opened and two Federation Honor Guards entered carrying a wreath of flowers between them. As the congregation looked on, the guards walked over to section of the memorial in the back right corner of the chapel. They reverently placed it next to the name that read:
USS TRINITY: NCC-2008
They guards solemnly raised their right hands into a salute as the bugle strains ended. Then, the glee club began to sing. Their angelic voices echoed off the high-vaulted ceilings and lifted the spirits of everyone inside:
To fallen soldiers, let us sing. Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing.
Our broken brothers let us bring, to the Mansions of the Lord.
No more bleeding, no more fight! No prayers pleading through the night!
Just divine embrace, eternal light, in the Mansions of the Lord.
Where no mothers cry and no children weep! We will stand and guard though the angels sleep.
All through the ages safely keep, the Mansions of the Lord…
The cadets concluded their hymn and stood silently. Katie, Phil, and many of the others wiped tears away from their eyes as they remembered all those who they had lost over the years. However, all were simultaneously grateful that they had the honor of knowing such fine men and women. Father Ramsey took a deep breath as he looked out over the crowd.
"Ladies and Gentlemen," he said softly. "I invite you to reflect or pray in your tradition as I pray in mine." He turned to face the altar and made the sign of the cross across his chest. "Almighty and Ever living God, as we gather before you together in thanksgiving for the marriage of Philip and Katherine, we also pray to you to take into your loving arms the souls of all the dearly departed who have fallen in the cause of bringing justice, peace, and freedom to the galaxy. Give them eternal rest at your side and also comfort and succor all those left behind. Help them be strong in their faith and the knowledge that you can provide for those we love more than we can desire or pray for. Amen."
"Amen," Katie and Phil said together. Annabeth and Alex both bowed their heads. T'les touched her right hand to her heart.
"Varo ay tem," Laria said in ancient Bajoran as she raised her arms beside her.
"pIyajchu'," Tigranian said making the sign of the tIq ghob.
"Uzaveh Krish Sh'Atan Shras," Scharr whispered.
Katie reached out and grabbed Phil's hand again. They both smiled at each other and then looked up to Father Ramsey. He beamed back at them and began the wedding service.
"Dearly Beloved," he spoke raising his hands again, "In the presence of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we have come together to witness the marriage of Philip Lexington and Katherine Stone, to pray for God's blessing on them, to share to their joy, and to celebrate their love…"