Icholasen last edited by Icholasen
"We're going to be late" Anastasia said, hastily packing up her things.
"Damn it I know, Anya." Tommy replied. Packing his bag frantically also.
"Why aren't the servants doing this for you, children?" Alexandra asked.
"Because we're not elitist swines like you and father." Tommy answered, with a less than desirable response.
"At least I haven't ever done cocaine of the back of an Inquistan prostitute." Alexandra fired back.
"That was one time! Mikaela didn't mind." Tommy replied.
"There's no need to speak like that about the Klingenburgs anymore. As I am of course betrothed to one." Anastasia said, glaring at her ring.
"Don't bloody remind me." Tommy replied, stuffing his bag with bottled of vodka.
Tommy wheeled his hot pink suitcase out of his stateroom of the Nikolai Palace. He then proceeded to walk down the grand staircase to outside the house where the Mercedes was waiting. The palace was ensuite to the sea, and a chilling wind rattled him. The sea was dark, and uninviting. However, he kept waiting for his sister, his mother, his father and... the Klingenburg. When they finally arrived, they boarded the Mercedes and headed to the Marine where the RNS Athena was waiting for them.
Anastasia exits the Mercedes and looks up at the ship, taking it in with cool appraisal.
"I don't see what all the fuss is about. It doesn't look any bigger than the HNS Bonnie Langford." Tommy said.
"You can be blase about some things, Rose, but not about the Athena. It's over a hundred feet longer than the Bonnie Langford, and far more luxurious. It has courts, a Mertzian cafe... even Inquistan baths." Alexandra replied. "Your brother is much to hard to impress, Anastasia." Alexandra continued.
"So this is the ship they say is unsinkable?" Nicholas Klingenburg asked.
"It is unsinkable. There are 3 aircraft carriers coming with us, and 5 submarines. God himself couldn't sink this ship." Alexandra said with pride. "Isn't that right Nikolai?"
"W-what?" Nikolai asked. Woken from slumber. "Why are we in this damn French speaking place anyway?"
"This is South Regina. They speak Nicoleizian." Anastasia responded.
"Deport them all! Why are Nicoleizians living in Icholasen?" Nikolai continued.
"It's best just to ignore the slightly more... deranged... family members, Squidjums." Anastasia said to Nicholas.
A Porter came from the Porter's post and took their suitcases up to their rooms. They walked up the gangway to their rooms. A member of the staff took the women's fur coats and the men's coats. The other passengers on the ship were members of the aristocracy, certain celebrities and other royals. However, not all of them would be attending the meal planned after the wedding.
"So, when we get there, will I be allowed to come on board?"
"Only if you want me to push you off again."
A light humming noise. Dark blue deepness outside. Artabanos had imagined the occasional fish to swim past, but apparently His appearance through the thick glass window had scared them all off. Richard was sat next to Him, although he wouldn't go aboard with Him, he wouldn't even show his face. On the other hand, that stupid Marquis, who had suddenly started behaving like he was the all-imporant heavenly king (hmm, who reminded Him of that?), insisted on coming, even though no formal preparations had been made for his stay. His stupid - but arguably not bad-looking - face emotionlessly stared out of one of the two windows. "Surfacing in one minute, Your Maj", the cute pilot said, her auburn locks neatly tied under her baret, which had gradually slipped off her head during the long journey. The dark blue, almost black, became gradually lighter, some weeds whizzing past the window. Five-inch thick glass, apparently.
After a period of time Artabanos didn't even remember the length of, the submarine surfaced. The ship was less grand than He was used to - or had expected by Nicolezian standards. "Shall we, then?", Marquis de Barrington said.
"Aren't you excited?", Mikaela asked squealing with glee.
"For what? To be around you, or the fact that another Kligenberg demon spawn is getting married? Because, quite frankly, I'm so totally looking forward to both", Craticus replied sarcastically, without a single ounce of sincerity.
"Oh Cratipoo, you always make me laugh!" Mikaela snorted in laughter, oblivious as per usual.
"That's what I'm here for. Anyway, after you, my lady", Craticus gestured, allowing Mikaela to board the boat.
"Oh, you gentleman. Now, how come you're not here with a date? Where's Queen Aleksandra?", Mikaela asked innocently as she crossed the gangway.
Fire filled Craticus' eyes. He pushed Mikaela, trying to send her overboard. "Oh my, watch your step!"
"Woops! Thanks! I tripped there. I knew I shouldn't have worn these heels", Mikaela said, barely saving herself from falling into the ocean. "Almost fell in there!"
"Wouldn't want that to happen", Craticus replied. "Damn. So close", he said, whispering to himself. "But to answer your question, I actually don't know where Queen Aleksandra is. Honestly though, the real question is where is your date? You'd think the great Mikaela Kligenberg would have an army of men at her disposal. "
"Oh you silly, I don't have enough time for love. I have to actually like, do important things like, make great music and perform for like, the less fortunate."
"Apologies, I forgot how important you were. Anyway, where are our rooms?", Craticus asked, viewing a map of ship.
"Our rooms? Aren't we sharing one?", Mikaela asked with her typical tone of confusion.
"You're kidding, right. Ha? Ha?"
"Gah", Craticus retorted, feeling genuine stings of pain. "I'd rather be in a room with that fruitloop Artabanos."
"Oh don't say that, you know you love rooming with me! Besides, this time I brought less clothes so you'll have more room. I only brought 18 suitcases with me this time, so you might actually get your own bed."
"That's so generous of you. Thank you."
"Ooooh that's our room there, to left", Mikaela said, pointing.
"Okay. You go in there and make sure the porters brought all your bags. I'm going to go get a way now, erm, I mean, go greet others now."
Without saying a word, Craticus strided off and left Mikaela behind. For once, Craticus actually missed the company of Brad the Intern.
Halsberg last edited by
"Goddammit. I'm the High bloody President and still we have a layover", moaned Solomon as he looked out of the departure lounge window. The High Presidential plane, a sleek, deceptively super-sonic looking jet (spoiler: it wasn't), emblazoned with the red and black stripes of Halsberg's flag, was being repaired on the tarmac. "Who is supposed to do the checks before we actually take off? I want them arrested", he said, in his signature tone that caused confusion amongst his staff as to whether he was joking or not. A few nasty incidents had happened because of it. The plane had developed a fault on the way to Icholasen, and had had to make an emergency landing. "Developed a fault'! That's a generous phrase. Half the rudder falls off over Groo-...", Solomon shivered. He thought he saw the air shimmer, as if time itself was changing, his memories being altered. "...falls off over Keygreystan! Probably smashed right into some guy's house....on second thoughts, perhaps its not so bad."
"Maybe its not so bad", Marie's shrill, annoyingly cheery voice exclaimed, having not been paying attention at all. "Europolis is lovely this time of year. I mean look at those spires over there", she pointed at the snow-covered steeples of Europolis, monuments to the Duchy's history. "Plus, we can meet Susan here instead of on the boat!", she went on, always trying to find the best in the situation.
"What was she even doing here?", the High President asked. "She's not been a Commissioner for like two years, and even when she was she didn't do very much, 'cept pay off the entire budget expenditure with her canteen tab", he added dryly. He fumbled about in his jacket, looking for a leaflet he had found in a rack at the other side of the airport. "I mean look at this: 'Callaghan's Curves: If I Can Do It, So Can You!',", he read aloud from the leaflet, advertising fitness classes with the Former Commissioner.
"See, she's making something of herself.", Marie offered, actually enjoying the Former Commissioner's company. They'd been friends for a long time, ever since university, when she was an first year undergrad and Callaghan was a mature student. They'd had some good times, playing pranks on John Walters and that frat party when they'd had a bit too much to drink and played strip poker. Alright, maybe that wasn't one of the good times. She shuddered at the thought despite herself.
"There's a damn lot of her to make something with,", the High President quipped, chuckling away to himself. No one else in the party, which consisted of Marie and a couple of aides, laughed. "Suit yourself, bunch of philistines. My comedy is wasted on you people."
"How long did you say the plane was going to take to fix?", Marie asked one of the aides.
"Around 9 hours, ma'am", he replied curtly.
"Damn, we're going to miss the cruise....unless...Michael cut out the SuCal jokes. I'm calling in a favour."
"Easy....easy....easy....and...down!", Susan Callaghan said happily, having successfully guided the transportation of the Callaghacopter from the Halsbergian Embassy in Davishire. The train that it had ridden on from New London had squealed, as if in relief, when the crane had lifted the Callaghacopter from its carriage. The vehicle itself, red and black with the Former Commissioner's face emblazoned on both sides, was a prized possession for her, given as a gift from EuroVoice superstar, billionaire and good friend Billie Piper, before her untimely arrest in Framptonia on drug smuggling charges.
Must try and get that sorted, she thought to herself, but it seemed she just never had the time anymore, what with her fitness guru career taking off faster than a Davishiran cruise missile. 'Number One Bestseller', her publisher had said the other week about her self-help book, and she could believe it. Everywhere she went in Halsberg and indeed the wider region were posters of her with that horrific publicity photo. It was everywhere, billboards, online, phone booths, buses, she had even recorded a TV ad that was run on prime time on all the major networks across the region. She wasn't even sure she was going to make it to the wedding until a few days ago. She was due to appear on Late Night with Moulay Ismail tomorrow, but had to pull out on the advice of her agent. Apparently, that show's scheduling couldn't be trusted. A happy accident though, since now she could attend the Nicolezian wedding.
The sound of ABBA's Dancing Queen filled the air, signifying she was receiving an incoming call. Wearing a cumbersome high-vis jacket and a hard hat and fumbling for her phone, she must have looked stunning to all the numerous paparazzi who who were waiting at the gate of the train yard. The truly robbed EuroVoice contestants were cut off by the Commissioner answering the call: "Hello? Ah Marie! Yes...still in Europolis...oh 9 hours?! But doesn't that mean you'll miss the boat? Uhuh.....erm what helicopter?.....no...dammit I knew this day would come...all it was was a drunken kiss....Eric didn't even mind!....yes...yes I know you kept it quiet....okay...fine.....I'll be there in half an hour."
Callaghan hung up, putting away her phone forlornly. She walked over to the Callaghacopter, still shining from its wash before it left New London. She patted it affectionately, "Well, looks like we're gonna have passengers."
"The Callagha-what?", the High President asked with a hint of incredulity.
"The Callaghacopter. She has a helicopter now, and its our best bet of getting to Icholasen on time.", Marie replied matter-of-factly. They had been waiting in Europolis' airport for some time now, and the cruise was due to set sail in a just under three hours. The aides were getting nervous, glancing at their watches. The High Presidential couple were now waiting by the large windows, looking out on to the tarmac at the airport's helipad. "Should be here any second now..."
As if on cue, the sound of the helicopters rotors came into earshot, with the Callaghacopter itself coming in from over the terminal building towards the helipad. The couple's head followed it almost in unison, watching as it landed. The pilot was none other than the Former Commissioner herself. "Wait, she can fly the bloody thing?", the High President demanded. "God help us."
The group made its way down to the tarmac, going to meet Callaghan as she jumped out of the cockpit, the rotors still spinning. "Ah High President...Marie.", the Former Commissioner shouted as she nodded in greeting, saving an icy stare for Marie.
"Commissioner, thank you very much for this. An invaluable help, there'll always be a place for you back in Thurston if you want it.", the High President tried to say over the din of the engines.
"What?", Callaghan shouted, struggling to hear Solomon, "...you want me to come back to your place for thrusting?", she said with a hint of dread creeping into her voice.
"No!", Solomon quickly shouted, eyes darting between the two women. "I said...uh...oh it doesn't matter.", giving up trying to be heard over the helicopter. "Let's just get going." With that the party boarded the Callaghacopter, Marie and Solomon in the back and Callaghan in the pilot's seat. There was only enough space for one aide, with the newest member of the team being given the prestigious honour. He was more or less pushed into the helicopter by his colleagues, looking extremely nervous. "Sorry pal, last in, first out", the High President chuckled to himself as the aide frantically fastened his seatbelt just in time for takeoff.
"Here we go!", the Commissioner-turned-Daredevil-Helicopter-Pilot shouted through the intercom, pulling back on stick. The Callaghacopter rose up fairly unsteadily, Callaghan only just keeping control. "To Icholasen, away!", she shouted again, leaning forward as the helicopter broke every air traffic control directive and stormed ahead at full speed over Europolis, heading west.
It was getting dark when the Callaghacopter finally arrived in the skies over Saint Novella. They could see the Athena, still in port. "We made it!", Marie exclaimed happily.
"Made it, yes. In one piece, not quite.", Solomon said flatly, referring to the aide who was rocking back and forth in his chair, his eyes wide and staring dead ahead. "Poor chap, just a bit shell shocked."
"Its not my fault,", the Commissioner said defensively. "How was I supposed to know the British would fire at us?"
"They didn't fire at us, you moron! You nearly flew us right into Big bloody Ben!"
"It was the scenic route...", Callaghan said sheepishly. "Besides, he's still alive, right? So yeah I'd say we made it!"
The helicopter began its descent, with its pilot looking fervently for a suitable landing spot. She had a number of options in the immediate vicinity of the Marine. There was a public square some 400 yards from the Marine, a sports pitch which looked like it was playing host to an important game, and the deck of the Athena itself. She chose the sports pitch, summarizing that there were only 22 or so people on the pitch, compared to hundreds in the public square and numerous dignitaries and such on the Athena. The Callaghacopter descended slowly into the stadium, disrupting the football game. The players on the pitch looked up in disbelief as Halsberg One, as it was now known carrying the High President, came looming towards them out of the night sky, wobbling a fair bit. The fans in the stands began shouting and hurling things at the helicopter, dismayed that their game had been interrupted.
"Fantastic landing spot, Susan. Really, well done.", the High President said with just a hint of sarcasm.
"It'll be fine, High President, just wait.", the pilot replied, putting the finishing touches on her landing. The Callaghacopter touched down with a thud, having come in just slightly too fast. "And we've arrived."
The shell-shocked aide immediately burst out of his seat and frantically opened the door. He jumped down onto the football pitch and kissed the ground, still shaken from his ordeal. The rest of the party followed him out of the helicopter.
"Drama queen,", Callaghan said as she stepped out. The large screens around the stadium focused in on her and the shouting and booing stopped. Almost immediately, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause. A chant soon got going, with the stadium as one shouting "SuCal! SuCal! SuCal". The party made across the pitch, waving as they went. Even the High President seemed to be enjoying the rapturous reception. Marie was beaming, waving wildly at the crowd and blowing kisses to as many people as she could see. Eventually, they got to tunnel leading out, but before they could leave they were approached by a balding, middle-aged man in a business suit. He seemed like on the football team's managers. He whispered something in the Former Commissioner's ear and handed her a microphone. Callaghan nodded and addressed the crowd: "Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you so much for that wonderful welcome to your country!" The High President and Marie looked on in disbelief, having not quite realized the Former Commissioner's celebrity status until now. "Its been an amazing, if short visit, but rest assured, we will be back! And don't forget, go go Icholasen go!", she cried, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. She passed back the microphone and turned to the other two. "Come on you two lets not dawdle, got a boat to catch!"
The party finally made it to the dock, with the Athena still berthed and accepting passengers. "At last..", Solomon said, hoping to get on to the ship and to forget the day ever happened.
"Good day, High President," said a Nicolezian porter. "May I take your luggage?
"Ah yes, of cou.....Marie. Where's the luggage?", the High President said, his heart sinking like a Poretisian aircraft carrier.
"Erm....on the plane...", she replied, the situation dawning on her too.
"Which is in Europolis...", the High President continued. "Goddammit!"
Icholasen last edited by
The ship left Saint Novella, with cheers from the side of the Marina. It steamed off out, slowly and cautiously. It was followed by the 3 aircraft carriers, which were light and easily steered around the small Athena. The evening turned to night, and the night then turned into morning. On the ship a general feeling of rested calm flowed throughout the corridors and rooms of the Ship. Servants were bringing around breakfast foods of all origins. Briochettes, croissants, toast and jam. With of course the tea. Now they were in International waters off the coast of Os Corelia, they could now enjoy all the delights that are milk and dairy products.
The servants arrived in Anastasia and Nicolas’ quarters with their breakfasts.
“Good morning your majesties. I hope I’m not disturbing you two.” Said the servant, sheepishly.
“No of course not, come on in.” Anastasia replied.
“Here’s your dairy-free croissant, with your apple tea your Majesty.” The servant continued. “And here is your traditional Inquistan tart.”
“What?” Asked Nicolas.
“Oh… you know… if Tommy was here.” Anastasia said, pausing for a giggle.
“That’s my cousin.” Nicolas said, with a definitive effect on Anastasia's giggling fit.
“And that’s my brother.” Anastasia said defensively.
“You know you don’t like him. He’s brought the House of Romanov into disrepute!” Nicolas fired back.
There was an awkward silence. “You know they’ll get over it when they see us up there, happy and content with our love.” Anastasia said amorously.
“I hope you’re right, Anya.” He continued.
Nikolai, Alexandra and Tommy were in their shared dining room, waiting for their breakfast to arrive.
“The staff are rather sloppy today. It’s 9:02 and 48 seconds. They were supposed to arrive at nine o’clock. How impertinent of them.” Alexandra stated, flustered.
“Mother, the staff have many mouths to feed today. Especially at the wedding.” Tommy replied.
“I bet they’re Davishirians. Those types always come here to steal our jobs. Davishire is laughing at us. They send all their worst over here.” Nikolai babbled.
“Christ.” Tommy said.
“I know you’re… of unique expression... but you don’t need to be so un-Christian. We’re in the damned company of the Holiest damned man in Europe. Show some damn respect.” Alexandra lectured.
“DEPORT THEM!” Nikolai said, enraged at how starving he was becoming.
A feeble knock on the door was heard.
“Yes!” Shouted Alexandra.
“Sorry, is this a bad time?” A servant said, opening the door with her trolley.
“Yes of course it is. It’s 9:04. 4 minutes and 12 seconds late. I’ll be filing a report to your superior for this impertinence.” Alexandra snapped. “Now get those tarts over here.”
“You know who is a tart…” Tommy started.
The servants scurried around below the waterline, preparing large hogs, chickens, gammon, beef, turkey, and vast vats of stuffing. They were also cooking non-meats in a much lesser quantity, but potatoes, peas (for throwing at emperors, of course), Yorkshire puddings and the like were being churned out from scratch in the kitchen far below. Over 300 chefs were busy putting it all together. People on the deck remarked at how the smell coming from the large funnel overhead, did not smell like diesel, but like one’s house at Christmas. The ship steamed on, with the sounds of jazz-bands in the lounges and plays going on in the theatre.
“I’ve told you, Gretchen, to zip it up tightly” Anastasia yelled.
“What do you think I have been doing, your Majesty. Zipping you up loosely?” Gretchen replied.
“My God you are the worst assistant ever. Instead of assist you might as well be the orchestrator of this wedding’s demise.” Anastasia roared.
“Okay, okay, as you wish.” Gretchen said, ceding defeat. She tugged the zip high up. Anastasia squealed.
“Do you really not know how to do up a bow tie?” Gregory asked Nicolas.
“It never occurred to me that the wedding planner would want me to look like Gareth Malone.” Nicolas responded.
“I for one think it looks very good. You look nothing like that Irish choir boy.” Gregory said.
“I certainly hope not. Nothing would be worse than looking…” Nicolas paused. “Irish.”
“You can’t say that! I’m 3.5995% Irish. Haven’t the Irish struggled enough?”
The guests filtered into the Chapel, where the wedding was being held. Stood at the Altar was the Archbishop Richard Dawkins, a Protestant, much to the distaste of Archbishop Cracticus. Once all the guests had taken their seats, Nicolas walked up the aisle to the quartet of 2 violins, a viola, a double bass. Nicolas then received a blessing from the Archbishop Richard Dawkins. Holy water was also splashed in his face. Then, Anastasia appeared through the door with her Father, Nikolai. As they walked in, the Quartet flowed smoothly into the entrance music. They walked up the aisle of the Chapel. All eyes were on them. They arose to stand for that is the respectable thing to do. Anastasia then made it to the Chapel Altar.
Richard Dawkins coughed and started to read: “Dearly beloved, we have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by His presence and first miracle at the wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and the Church of Regina, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.
The union of husband and wife is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given each other in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God's will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.”
“Yeah she’d never do that, would she...” Tommy whispered to Charles, who was sitting next to him. He then received a firm elbowing from Alexandra, who was in tears.
Archbishop Dawkins continued: “Into this union Anastasia Romanov and Nicolas Klingenburg now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not be lawfully wed, speak now, or else forever hold your peace.”
I charge you both, here in the presence of God and the witness of this company, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be married lawfully and in accordance with God's Word, do now confess it.”
Dawkins then turned to Anastasia: “Anastasia, will you have this man to be your husband; to live together with him in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful unto him as long as you both shall live?”
“I will.” Anastasia replied.
Then Richie turned to Nicolas: “Nicolas will you have this woman to be your wife; to live together with her in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful unto her as long as you both shall live?”
“I will.” Nicolas Replied.
He then turned to the congregation: “Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?”
The congregation replied, “We will.” With the noticeable exception of Charles and Tommy.
“Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” Asked Richard.
“She gives herself, with the blessing of her mother and father.” Replied Nikolai.
Then, the Naval Hymn was played, as a part of the ceremony.
Nicolas then took Anastasia’s right hand in his. “In the name of God, I, Nicolas Klingenburg, take you, Anastasia Romanov, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Anastasia then took Nicolas’ right hand into hers. “In the name of God, I, Anastasia Romanov, take you, Nicolas Klingenburg, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
Archbishop Dawkins then proclaimed: “Bless, O Lord, these rings as a symbol of the vows by which this man and this woman have bound themselves to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Anastasia then put her ring onto Nicolas’ ring finger. “I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
And Nicolas subsequently put his ring onto Anastasia’s ring finger. “I give you this ring as a symbol of my love, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Richard Dawkins then joined their hands together and said: “Now that Anastasia and Nicolas have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together, let no one put asunder. Now, let us Pray. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.” He then directed Anastasia and Nicolas to face each other. “Anastasia and Nicolas, having witnessed your vows of love to one another, it is my joy to present you to all gathered here as husband and wife.” He then turned to Nicolas. “You may kiss the bride.”
They then left the Chapel, in order to get changed for the dinner. The dinner would start in merely 1 hour after the wedding, and only them most important people would attend the main reception.
"Maximillian, Marquis de Barrington."
On his own insitence, Max had demanded Artabanos introduce him to the European elite. So far, he'd met a great deal of interesting people, although he knew he wasn't a part of their class - yet. During the long wedding ceremony, he was sat next to his Emperor, who, as he noticed, couldn't suppress a tear. "What the fuck, Artie?", he said as he saw Him search for his handkerchief.
"Screw you, Max. I want to get married, too, you know."
Max decided it was best to not respond. He knew how touchy his Emperor was on the issue of marriage, especially after what had happened in recent months. He observed the marriage ceremony, but didn't really understand it. It was different from Inimician marriages, which are always before the state, religious marriages not being allowed to take place in Inimicus. This has forced many Catholic couples to emigrate to different countries for a few years, before returning to Inimicus, as under the Marriage Recognition Act, Inimicus is obliged to recognise every form of marriage. He looked at how he was dressed - he'd not made much effort to look good, as usual. Contrary to Artie, though: His Impie Maj was all polished up in state dress. After the occasion, they retired to get ready for dinner.
"What a beautiful wedding," said George as he buttoned up his shirt.
"Wasn't it just?" replied Theodora. "Although ours was better," she said, smiling broadly, as she swivelled round, brandishing two dresses. "Now, this one or that one?"
"I don't think white's appropriate for someone else's wedding night, love."
"I know, but I don't think I can fit into the other one given, y'know..."
"Oh, I'm sure it'll be fine. When Susan fucking Callaghan's around you can get away with anything!" George laughed, with a slight hint of nervousness.
"Oh, fuck you!" Theodora smiled and threw the white dress at her husband's face. "But we will have to tell people some time."
"When we get back?"
"Probably best. Although given how long this cruise is, I don't think we'll need... to say... an... y... THING!" Theodora struggled into her dress. "Ah! Oh! Jesus! There! Done! How's your bow tie going?"
"I think I can get it right on the fourth go this time," replied George. "I wonder how Bollocks Bob's getting on?"
"Squeezing into that old suit of his, I'm sure. I've never seen an Ambassador so wholly unsuited to formal evenings."
"Thank Christ they gave him a separa- FUCKING BOW TIE! Fifth attempt, alright?"
"Alright, but be quick. We've got to be down soon."
Icholasen last edited by Icholasen
"What did you think of the wedding, Nikolai?" Alexandra asked her senile husband.
"I think it was awful. How come she was able to get away from her God-awful marriage? And why can't I get out of mine?" Asked Nikolai.
"It's a different time Nikolai. You've probably only got another 3 years left in you anyway." Alexandra responded aggressively, then whispered: "If Poppy wasn't so incompetent, he'd be dead already."
"Wha-" Asked Nikolai.
"Nothing dear. Carry on with your senility." Alexandra replied, sticking her brooch into her dress.
The hour had past and the first course of the meal was lain out for the guests. The first course of soup was at the table, with plenty of French stick to go around. It was to be a plentiful meal to celebrate a blessed union. The dining room looked out to the wake of the ship, and out into the ocean. There were servers at regular intervals, in dress uniform for such a special occasion. Anastasia and Nicolas were to sit at the middle of the table looking out to the sea, on Anastasia's side were her family. The ship continued to steam towards Azuro, where it would then head to Inquista.
"What even is this, Max?", Artabanos whispered to the Marquis.
"It's soup, Artie."
"The submarine had better soup."
"For crying out loud, we're guests."
Artabanos carefully managed to slip some of the 'thick bits' out of the soup and into a napkin, which He then tucked into Max's dinner suit pocket. "I'll just load up on baguette", the Emperor said, and carefully excused Himself. He followed to servants to the kitchen and pilfered two sticks. Having hidden them in his cabin, He returned and looked refreshed. "Don't tell me you've repeated last event's scandal", Max said concerned.
"The servant almost leaked the size of your turnip to the press."
Artabanos thought it best not to reply. Instead, he continued to hide bits of soup in the pockets of those sitting around him, and anxiously looked forward to a more sophisticated dinner course.