After visiting Rokalla, Arsha made her way back to the Endeavor. She sat in her Ready Room, pondering what was next. She had already seen the Divine Ones address the Realms to read and explain the Final Prophecy. Her door chime then rang. “Come in,” she called. Eltan slithered into the room. “Eltan, what can I do for you?”
“I just got a medical report about us Revenants from Marshii,” explained Eltan. She then thought about something. “…Did you know that she was a brunette once?”
“Marshii? I placed her as a red head myself. Oh well, you said you had something?”
“Yes, Captain. Apparently, only old age can kill us now.”
“What about the mana infusions you need?”
“We don’t need them anymore. Apparently, having Divine Mana woven into the Realms was what we needed to survive and thrive.”
“…What about your future?” Eltan looked off, appearing to think about.
“Don’t know,” she finally answered. “I guess I’ll figure it out along the way.”
“Will it involve Realmfleet?”
“I don’t think so. In fact, that’s what I want to talk to you about, Captain. Effective tomorrow, the Realmfleet Revenants are resigning their commissions.” Arsha was silent for a minute, then smiled.
“If that’s your desire, I won’t stop you. I just want you to know that it was a pleasure serving Realmfleet with you.”
“The honor is all mine.” The two then shook hands.
The day finally came as everyone gathered to send off Elmar and the Realmfleet Revenants. It was a small party, per the guests of honor’s requests. Even Rokalla and Calandra attended once Rokalla got his prosthetics. They were all chatting about some of the goofier incidents that happened in the Final War. Rokalla was regaling everyone with a story. “So, I had this Revenant by the neck and my wand was pressing into her skull. I had Ensakunde at the ready and I was working up a rage.” He then made a face of mock rage and mimed holding someone by the neck and jabbing their head with a wand. “‘Where’s the data crystal?!’ I kept saying. ‘Where’s the data crystal?!’ She finally laughed and pointed to the dead cat. I took a scan of the cat’s body and found the data crystal in its stomach! So, I got rid of the Revenant and Aldarval, that howling hyena, she was no help at all! She just stood there, laughing at me as I had to cut a dead cat open while it was putrefying! The smell was just FOUL! It was like a prank that, no offense, Queen Calandra, Andwayla would have done!” Calandra just had a smile on her face as she thought to something.
“You know, Mother may not have been the brightest of women,” she sighed, “and no offense taken, Admiral, she WOULD pull a prank like that…but I still remember one thing that stuck out when I was a little girl. Back then, I didn’t have a high opinion of Orcs. I thought the whole race to be smelly and arrogant and blood-thirsty.”
“…First I heard of that about you,” muttered Rokalla.
“Well, one day, Mother had an idea to cure me of that and it turned out to be one of her best ideas. On the Orcs’ Day of Reflection, she took me to the Gurnak Chapel.”
“I went there when I was a boy!” remarked Rokalla.
“And just as our carriage stopped…I heard singing. I looked around because I was confused at where the sound came from. Mother had me approach the doors of the chapel and look inside and, well, it wowed me. I saw Orcs singing and their song…was beautiful. I couldn’t make out the words at the time, but it was full of sadness and hope and wonder and…and a terrible…sense of loss. It was only later that I learned that the song was the Hymn of Missed Paradise.” Rokalla could then see where she was going but remained silent. “I looked at Mother and…and saw a tear coming down her face. I said to her, ‘Mother, we should leave. This is upsetting you.’ She told me ‘No, it’s not upsetting me. It’s just one of the most beautiful hymns I’ve ever heard.’ I then asked her ‘How could someone like an Orc sing so well?’ She answered, ‘…It’s because they’re singing for the joy that they feel when they experience the peace we’ve all built together and mourning those that missed seeing it in their lifetimes. Their honored dead can only see what they’ve missed from so far above us in the Heights. Despite what many people think, the Orcs are just as beautiful as the Elves in respects that matter.’ …While rare, that side of Mother existed when she was alive. And that song…I’m willing to bet there are Orcs out there singing that song right now. I’ve never heard the Divine Ones sing, but if they do, I’m willing to bet they would sing with the voice I heard.” Calandra sniffled as she wiped a tear. Elmar placed his hand on her shoulder in reassurance.
“I miss her too,” he said, answering her unspoken question.
“We all do,” agreed Arsha. She raised her glass. “A toast. To friends and family that can only watch us from afar in the Heights with our memories of them still bright.” Everyone raised their glass.
“To my mother, Andwayla Narven,” said Calandra.
“To my old friend, Revak Nurtal,” wished Elmar.
“To my cousin, Tendrak Royana,” toasted Arsha.
“To my brother, Mugath Gransurgh,” said Rokalla.
“To my sister, Mandrii Eltraa,” wished Sheendii.
“To my father, Trumba Meltrek,” toasted Drelta.
“To my mothers, Durvan and Furlii Deltar,” said Entran.
“To my husband, Drebla Ansii,” toasted Blenter.
“To my best friend, Grebnal Grantur,” finished Eltan. They all sipped their drinks. Rokalla then smiled.
“I’d like to make one more toast before this party’s over,” he announced. “Elmar Narven, you have been the best Chief Science Officer in all of Realmfleet. You have paved the way for many a scientific advance and Realmfleet cannot thank you enough. I only hope that you still have opportunities to pursue science now that you’re fully accepting your role as King of the Galdredan Lava Kingdom. Eltan, I wish you and your squad mates a peaceful retirement and the freedom to do as you wish. To King Elmar and the Realmfleet Revenants!”
“To King Elmar and the Realmfleet Revenants!” repeated Arsha and Calandra. They raised their glasses again and sipped once more.