The Perfect Plan, Part Thirteen: The Vows

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(November 24th)

The attendees took their seats, and the pipe organ began to play, belting out the wedding march in a minor key that echoed through the great hall, its bass causing the floor to rumble as the upper notes soared into the rafters. Slowly, Ada Byron walked down the hall in a flowing silk dress, her veil draped over her face and casting it into shadow, the train held by a pair of small robots that rolled along behind her, squeaking in time with the music. Standing at the altar, Spencer Ecchs watched her approach with a broad smile.

As she reached the altar, the priest, Father Matthew, smiled out over the congregation. “Dear friends, families, and honored foes, we are gathered here today to witness the bringing together of two souls into the bonds of matrimony.” He looked over at the bride and groom, and said, “Love is something that unites all of humanity. It leads us to our greatest successes, and greatest failings. To strive for love will forever be an admirable thing, something that shows how two forces can combine to create something greater. I know that, sometimes, the life of a supervillain seems to be one that precludes the possibility of forming such close attachments. Some villains even go so far as to claim that love, affection, and loyalty are weaknesses that should be expunged.

“Those here today know better.” There was a very quiet snort from the third row, and Spencer glanced over annoyedly at one of his brothers, who had the grace to look embarassed at having been heard. Ignoring him, Father Matthew continued. “Spencer and Ada have found each other, and they have found something that is the equal of their schemes and plans – someone to share the joy of success, and to help console them in times of trouble. In a life filled with uncertainty, love is not meaningless, but even more important than for most – because with love, you have someone that you can truly rely on.” His smile grew wider. “Whatever happens in this world, you will have each other, and that is something more precious than money or fame.”

He looked to Spencer, then to Ada. “Recite your vows.”

Spencer took a deep breath. He smiled nervously, looked over the room, and said, “I'm not very good with speeches. I should be, I make them often enough, but vowing to crush you underfoot just didn't have the right emotional context.” There was polite laughter, and he continued. “Ada, when we met, you stole my heart. And quite a lot of my stuff, even though we'd been getting along well. I knew then that you were ruthless, that you wouldn't let anything stand between you and what you promised to do. And I knew that if I could be the man you were allied with, I could trust you to the ends of the Earth and beyond.” He grew more relaxed as he talked, his nervousness fading. “Ada, I love you more than life itself, and when I look at the future, I can't imagine it without you in it. You are my love, my partner, the person who completes me.” With a faint blush, he stepped back. “Thank you.”

Father Matthew nodded, and looked over to Ada. “And yours.”

Ada nodded slowly. There was a moment's pause before she spoke. “When we first met, all that I wanted was to trick you into letting me close to you. I may have won in the literal sense, but you won in every way that mattered. I've dreamed of this day, and I swear to you that I will never hurt you, will never betray you or side against you. From this day on, my goals are yours and your goals are mine. I love you.”

“You have the rings?” Father Matthew asked. Spencer and Ada nodded in the same moment, each reaching over to an Ultraminion standing by and pulling out small, steel rings in which tiny diamonds sparkled. Matthew nodded, and Ada held out her hand for Spencer to place his ring onto her finger, before he held out his and she did the same. “I now pronounce you, husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”

As Spencer and Ada kissed, Amber's brow furrowed. She nudged Jhim. “Why is the priest backing away so quickly?” She asked in a low tone.

“I'm not sure.” Jhim answered. “Maybe he knows something we –” His answer was drowned out in a sudden roar of rocket engines, as the altar and the space above it began to lift into the air. Standing hand in hand, Ecchs and Ada shared a maniacal laugh.

“Now, we are united! Tremble, world! Spencer Ecchs and Ada Byron are unstoppable!” Ecchs laughed uproariously as the roof overhead split in two, and their platform rose into the sky.

“Yes, if you thought we were bad before, just wait until you see what sort of trickery marriage lets us unleash! Enjoy the wedding reception – while it lasts!” Ada crowed.

The platform rose into the sky and vanished. Guests began to stand, craning their necks to try and follow it. Still unconcerned, the priest returned to the microphone, which had been knocked over in the commotion, righted it, and spoke simply. “The reception will be in ten minutes' time, in the garden pavilion.”

The Champions stared at the altar for several seconds, along with most of the other guests. Eventually, in the second row, Sylvia Ecchs began to clap, and soon everyone joined in. Lucky leaned over to the others. “Shall we head down?”

“Please.” Amber said. “After that… I need a drink.”

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