Roughly 82,000 years had passed since the day of Arsha’s wedding and subsequent uniting the main Three Realms. As prophesized, many more Realms appeared. In one such Realm, devoted solely to Mechanicas, an old Dauntless-class skyship rested at a port. Inside the ship, its Mechanica, an old woman, wandered the corridors, recalling when she was packed with crewmembers. Now, the occasional engineers make sure she’s kept in order. She entered the cargo bay and looked at how empty it was. She sighed, reminiscing about when a gel-pox pandemic struck, and she was filled with medical supplies and doctors. As she remembered the old days, both good and bad, a knocking snapped her out of her thoughts. A scowl crossed her face. The knocking resumed and she guessed it came from the landing ramp. “No thank you!” she barked as loudly as her throat would let her. “We don’t want any more visitors, well-wishers, or newer classes of ships!”
“And what about old commanders?” asked an old woman’s voice in reply. The old Mechanica recognized that voice, even when the years altered it. She headed to the ramp and lowered it. When it rested on the ground, she went down and saw an old, dark-skinned Human/Kitsune blender in pink.
“…Arsha?” asked the Mechanica. The elderly former Queen of the Realms chuckled happily.
“Endea, my old friend!” she replied.
“Captain Royana, it’s great to see you!” The elderly Endea, the living extension of the Endeavor went as fast as she could to hug her former Captain.
“It’s great to see you too, Endea! 97,000 years old and you’re still as fit as ever!” The two broke off the embrace as Arsha got a good look at Endea. “You Mechanicas get all the luck in that department.” Endea chuckled, then headed back up the ramp. She turned around again and saw that Arsha was still on the ground.
“Well, come on in, you old bat!” laughed the elderly Mechanica. “It’s freezing out here!” Arsha followed Endea up the ramp. “Welcome back to the Endeavor! Tea? Or maybe something stronger? I’ve got some of the old stores left! 1296 EAU, very good year! Almost a quarter of my age!” She hurried off to the room that was once Barmek’s Bar and Grill. “It was left behind when the Barmeks left the ship! What say we crack one open, eh?”
“Just tea, thank you,” replied Arsha. She unknowingly tapped a loose bit with her head. She steadied it, then felt assured it wouldn’t move again. Her head then ran into a chin-up bar straddling a door. After that incident, she ducked down and heard Endea talking in the old restaurant.
“…I mean, you were supposed to come last week! Not that it matters, you Royanas are always coming and going as you please. You caught me a bit unprepared, I’m afraid.” As Endea continued talking, Arsha looked around and recalled when everyone had a victory party after winning the Final War. “Let’s see, we got some cold chicken and there’s some cheese PHEW! Never mind! That’s gone bad! Er, we’ve got some bread, jam, apple tart, maybe some scones, unless they’re…no, they’re all right!” Arsha imagined a wall hanging of a Mid-realm beach hanging above a booth. “I could make you some eggs, if you…Arsha?” Arsha snapped out of her thoughts to realize Endea was looking at her.
“Just tea, thank you,” assured Arsha.
“Of course.” Endea put the kettle on and prepared some food for herself. “You don’t mind if I-?”
“No, of course not!” Just then, the old comms crackled to life.
“Endea! I know you’re in there!” snapped a man’s voice.
“I’m not at home!” hissed Endea. “It’s my cousin in the Black Star Fleet! He’s trying to get me stripped out of all my tech! He’s never forgiven me for living so long! I’ve got to get away from all these confounded relatives hanging on my call button all day and never giving me a moment’s peace! I already said that I will be used as a Mer-realm home once my Mechanica body’s buried there! I want to see one last Realm before I snuff it, Arsha! Just one last Realm! And Mer-realm’s the most peaceful Realm for me to finish my book!” The kettle then whistled. “Tea!” recalled Endea as she dashed to the stove. She then took out two teacups and put a teabag in each one. After that, she poured the water and handed a cup to Arsha.
“So, you mean to go through with your plan, then?” asked Arsha as she let her tea steep.
“Yep, it’s all taken care of.”
“Your great-great-grandson, Lunath, suspects something.”
“He SUSPECTED something. He’s a Realmfleet ship, not some clapped-out Trinny ship.”
“Then you told him?”
“Yep. He got the immediate family to help with the arrangements.”
“He loves you very much, you know.” Endea went quiet.
“…I know. …He’d probably come with me if I asked him. But, in the end, his heart belongs to Machine-realm.” She then looked out the window.
“I’m getting old, Arsha. Thin, weak, like I never had rust taken care of. I know I don’t look it, but I feel it in my heart. ‘Well-preserved’, indeed! I need a vacation. A very long vacation that I don’t expect I’ll return from. …In fact, I don’t mean to return.”
“You always were happier when you were exploring,” chuckled Arsha as she sipped her tea. “Well, if you need help, I’m available.”
“…Do you think you can take the Captain’s Chair during my last voyage?” asked Endea. Arsha smiled happily.
“…I think these old bones are quite ready for one more command.” Arsha finished her tea and stood up. “I’ll tell my spouses about it and we’ll make the arrangements. You get some rest for the coming voyage.”
“Aye aye, Captain!” chuckled Endea as she cleared up. Arsha left the old restaurant and looked through the corridors. She smiled as she thought back to her reign and her children’s reign.
“It was a hard-fought peace,” she muttered to herself, “but it was worth it!”