The Troubadours Say Farewell and Welcome
Lady Emily bowed to thunderous applause which echoed back and forth across the Great Hall long after the clapping had ceased. Her time as Manager of the Odyssey Stage was at its end. In her last remarks, she spoke warmly of the 'little people' along the way that made her time on Odyssey's stage so rewarding.
"You are all so dear to me and I shall miss you deeply," her voice was soft, yet loud enough to be heard at the back of the hall and over the roaring fire kept to ward off the chill of a cold Spring. "However, please know that you'll not be rid of me completely. While taking charge of my own troupe on the Valiant Stage, I'll still perform here on these platforms." She held her arms out and turned slightly to the left and to the right, never taking her eyes off her audience - the mark of a true performer. "How could I not? It would be foolish to sacrifice your dear friendships."
Again, applause echoed throughout the Hall. She bowed, then turned to leave. "We love you Lady Emily," one of the youngest in the troupe shouted from the back. The Lady paused, looked to her admirer, and in one stately fluid motion, brought her hand to her lips, formed a kiss and sent it on its way, carried through the darkened Hall on Cupid's arrow. Master Jace jumped to capture the affection and tenderly held it to his blushing cheek.
The room grew quiet. There was anticipation as to who would take the Lady Emily's place on the Odyssey Stage. I stepped from behind the curtain and moved to center stage.
"Friends, we are in this Great Hall to bid adieu to one of our own who found Lady Fortune knocking on her door. Who would not invite in such a guest and welcome her with drink and song? And so, we send Lady Emily on her way to the Valiant with our warmest wishes for success."
Lady Emily, always knowing how to placate the needs of an audience, stepped from behind the curtain for a third final bow. I held my hand upwards to ask for silence.
"Now the question forming on every tongue is who shall take her place on this Odyssey Stage?" I shrugged my shoulders as if the question had no answer. My confused look caused a stirring in the congregation. I paused only long enough to let panic take one beat of their hearts before smiling to assure them that I had possession of the answer all along. They greeted my frivolity with applause, to which I thanked them with a bow.
"There is one who stands forth above all else on this stage. There is one no other could equal in talent and poise. There is one who's spirit and presence causes her contemporaries to withdraw into the shadow of mediocrity when she performs. There is one whom you all know, who demands this stage upon which I stand." I paused to wait for my last words to finish moving throughout the Hall. "Friends, I present for your worship, the Lady Christine!"
The Hall filled with cheering and applause. All left bended knee and stood upright to welcome the new Lady of the Odyssey. The Lady Christine stepped from left stage and walked slowly with arms outstretched in thanksgiving for her people. For several minutes the sound from the Great Hall filled the night air in the village below waking the peasants from their slumber.
After several failed attempts to quiet the throng, Lady Christine stepped before me and held out her hand to ask for silence. The crowd obeyed.
"I thank my predecessor, the Lady Emily, for this opportunity to serve this Troupe of fine Troubadours. I'm grateful for those assigned to this Stage and vow with solemn oath to continue our tradition of excellence. Let all other stages be warned. This Stage called Odyssey will unleash tales of courage, bravery and epic quests as have never been told before. This is a new day and I stand ready for all challenges that hurl themselves against these walls!"
And so it is kind readers. The Odyssey has a new Lady and a new beginning. Let all rejoice and be glad.
Emily passes the Odyssey's Microphone to Christine. This is the Space Center's way of saying goodbye to one Set Director and Welcoming Another. Christine Grosland is the Odyssey's new Set Director. Emily will continue working at the Space Center and takes the position as Set Director for the Valiant Simulator operated by iWorlds. The Valiant (housed in a semi trailer) will open its doors this summer at Thanksgiving Point.
Other Space Center Noteworthy News...
This is Eli. Eli lives in Lehi and earned his One Year Volunteer Service Pin. I'm always happy to give out the one year pins. Anyone that can put up with this crazy congregation of lost souls for one year deserves a pin and million dollars. Luckily, I have the budget for a pin.
This is Josh. Josh is a friend of Eli. Josh is also receiving his One Year of Service Pin. I want Josh to notice that I got his name right. I've been calling him John for quiet some time. At least I was in the right place on the alphabet.
This is John receiving his Phoenix Pin from Alex Anderson, Set Director of the Phoenix.
(Can you see something in John's eyes? Something sinister? Just between you and I, I believe John has a secret ambition to take the reigns of the Phoenix for himself. This will be a bloody palace coup. Will John succeed? Will His Majesty Alex IV lose his head to Madame Guillotine?
Notice the change in John's appearance as he receives his Odyssey Pin from Christine, the Odyssey's new Set Director. His carnivorous appetite witnessed in the previous picture is replaced with the pure bliss and joy of knowing that he was the very first to be awarded an Odyssey recognition from Christine. Perhaps John realizes he will need her help when the dark day comes and his evil plan is unleashed!
Remember Alex, uneasy is the head that wears the crown.
And finally, I wrap up this post by presenting a 5 Years of Service Pin to the Phoenix's very own Dave Daymont! Dave is awesome by anyone's standard and does an excellent job flight directing the Phoenix. He is Alex's right hand man. Perhaps a word of caution to John. To take the Phoenix Crown will require getting by Dave first. Indeed - it will require an almost Herculean effort - and not one you may be capable of undertaking.
Littered is the basement of the Space Center with the heads of those that made challenge. Alex IV takes no prisoners.
See you in the Trenches Troops!