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Story Notes: Big Thanks to LBD for the Beta read and correction help.

Written for the November 2013 Story Challenge.

11th of November 2409

Admiral Emmylou Galyaski stood in front of the mirror in her quarters and once more adjusted her dress uniform collar.

She looked at herself in the mirror, at the 56-year old admiral in her uniform [staring back at her], and remained unconvinced by the sight. Her hair was now silver, with early traces of white. She had steadfastly refused to dye her hair, unlike some other officers her own age did. Her body now had a sagging curve that had not been there in her prime.

Emmylou took out her jewelry box from her top drawer, and then from inside the lid of her jewelry box she took out three holo-pictures. The first was a family photograph, showing grandma Olyena, Mum Cassandra, Emmylou and her baby sister Debra on Christmas morning back around 2360 or 61 in Grandma’s Galyaski cottage. The next picture was Emmylou and Cassandra as Cadets in front of the Academy building with the Golden Gate bridge in the background. The final one was her wedding photograph of her and Scott cutting the wedding cake.

Emmylou looked at that woman she was in those pictures compared to the one staring back from the mirror. Yet as she studied her features she felt maybe she did look presentable after all. Her late husband Scott had always said she was her own worst critic.

Emmylou put the pictures back in the box and the box back in the drawer.
She always felt it to be a great honor to lead the USS Ganges and the Anastasiastad colony remembrance parade but she always found it a struggle to say something true and yet still somehow reflect all the cultures of which she had to command representatives.

This year was going to be extra hard, as her beloved husband of over thirty years, Scott, had died in action fighting off a Klingon convoy attack only a few months ago. She knew she wasn’t alone; many station personnel had recently lost loved ones in this pointless war with the Klingon Empire.

So when she delivered this year’s speech it would have an extra significance, beyond the fact that the Federation News Network had chosen at random to show the remembrance service from USS Ganges. The UFP President Annek Okeg would be doing the normal service from Paris with the Commander in Chief of Starfleet. However, the FNN had wanted to show some of the other active Starfleet personnel observing the two-minute silence, and so Starfleet had picked USS Ganges as a suitable station nicely away from the war’s current front line.

So Emmylou turned away from the mirror and walking to the coffee table, she picked up her PADD and again looked at her short speech, judging that it would fly. She turned and walked out of her quarters and headed towards the station transporter room so she could beam down to the unknown Starfleet monument at the USS Ganges planet-side colony Anastasiastad. As she stepped out of her quarters, the unusual mix of smells that filled the halls and rooms of the starbase USS Ganges hit her. On the surface, things might look like any other day on the station. Yet as she walked down the station promenade, she was aware of an extra stillness to the air.

Emmylou noticed that the many alien shops of the promenade had their own species symbols of remembrance of war veterans on display. The only notable exception was the Klingon tailor Grilkasa, whose shop rather than displaying the usual Klingon iconology, instead displayed the Sauron Hexagon of Solitude of her husband’s race and also the human white poppy of peace.

Indeed as Emmylou passed the tailor shop her eyes were drawn to one of the cocktail dresses in the window. Something about the color and style did reminder her of one of her old favorite off-duty dresses, back from when she had been a new mother and new Starfleet captain of the USS Trireme.
“A courting gift from Scott, but then he does--,’ Emmylou started to think before she corrected herself ‘had always given the best gifts.’

As Emmylou looked at it she found herself wondering ‘Maybe I could get Grilkasa to make the length a bit more conservative. I’m sure Scott would love --,’ Emmylou stopped that thought as she realized that once again she was acting like Scott was just away on duty and that he would soon be coming home to her.

A small tear formed in the corner of her eye as she realized ‘it’s been nearly six months and I’m still expecting him to come home soon. I really need to have another talk with councilor Luxani about this,‘ she thought to herself.

As she looked at that dress her mind drifted back through the years to the first time Scott had come to visit her on her first command the USS Trireme. She was sure she had been wearing that particular dress.

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