I was descending the staircase into Level Two and I let my mind wander to a time shortly after I saved Queen Galacta from some space zombies and she was going to award me for it. Now as I am sure all of you know, I don’t do this for the reward, but when the Queen of the Galaxy wants to award you something, you go accept it.
I was at her court on Throneworld and I was dressed for the occasion. I thought that I looked pretty dashing in my distinctive Blockade Boy-created uniform. I had my helmet, too, because it’s cold in space, you know.
A big thanks to Blockade Boy for the fabulous uniform.
“…For your continued service to the Throne and the Galaxy,” Queen Galacta announced. “It is my distinguished honor to present you with the Galactic Medal of Honor.”
The members of the court and the diplomats present all clapped politely. News teams were there from Galactic Network News and G-Span, so I thought that was pretty cool. I was on bended knee for the honor as I expected a medal to be placed around my neck or something. When that didn’t happen, I stole a glance up and saw the Queen holding something in her hand.
A chocolate Queen figure? I certainly didn’t expect that. She just stood there smiling and holding it towards me, so I kind of shrugged to myself and reached up for the confection. When I grabbed it, the applause reached a crescendo and some people cheered.
“Thank you, Gladiator,” she said as I looked at my new treat. “You are a credit to Queen and Galaxy.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty,” I returned. “It is an honor.”
Later, as the guests were enjoying drinks, I saw Major Rocksun looking at me from a corner of the room. He strode up to me smoothly and with precision.
Rocksun is the Queen’s official bodyguard and military liaison. As far as I can tell, this guy is always on duty and is always on. He takes his job seriously and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile. He’s certainly earned my respect and admiration, despite the fact that I don’t believe we’ve said more than a few words to each other.
“Congratulations,” Rocksun nodded towards the chocolated award. “Getting that is quite and honor.”
“Thanks,” I grinned just a bit. His words mean a lot to me.
“I’ve never been awarded one of those,” he stated flatly.
“Yeah, well, maybe someday,” I said to him. “You certainly do enough around here to deserve it.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” he answered. “Still… What are you going to do with the award?”
“I’m not sure,” I replied. “It looks delicious but I’ve never been awarded anything like this before. What’s the normal custom for something like this?”
“Well, you can eat it right away,” he shrugged slightly. “Though it is a lot of chocolate. Or you can save it in a cold storage device. You can eat part of it, too, or you could… give some of it to a buddy.”
“OK. I’ll think about what I want to do with it.”
“Come on,” he leaned forward. “Just give me a taste. I want to try some of that chocolate Queen.”
“No way, man,” I held my prize away from him.
Yeah, that was a fun day, I thought as I moved down the long staircase. The winding steps soon gave way to a short landing and a heavy wooden door.
“Looks like I’m at Level Two,” I said to myself.