Funeral: Skyguard Battle Squadron One

On the shuttle bay deck are mustered six low tables, each one with the obvious outline of a body underneath a flag bearing Hippocrates's Hegemonic seal. At the head of each table is a flower cut from Hydroponics, along with a service photograph (a boring face-shot), and one other photograph, a name-plate (taken from their bunks in the Enlisted Crew Quarters) and an object:

Keffer: In his picture, he's pointing something out on the wing of a fighter. There is a mystery novel next to the picture.

Ramirez: This picture doesn't actually have Ramirez, but it has gun-camera footage of the Mouth of the Snake, apparently while the fighter is being drawn into it. There's a jar of sandy dirt next to the picture. (If anyone asks, this is from the "Lost" planet.)

Wedge: His picture is set on Vircus. Wedge stands between two other men, and all three are smiling broadly. There's a holovid crystal next to the picture.

Biggs: In Biggs's picture, he is standing next to his fighter. A tattered shirt (like what the Vircans were wearing when Hippocrates first went there) is folded up next to the picture.

Wash: Wash is expounding on something in his picture; his hands are in motion and his eyes are a little bugged-out. A cracked mirror in a scorched bolt-on metal frame is next to the picture. (Wash installed a rear-view mirror on his fighter, even though nobody else thought that was useful.)

Zoe: Her picture is of her getting out of the cockpit of her fighter, helped by Wash, with a cool and confident smile on her face. An ancient, weatherbeaten blaster sits next to her picture.

the Funeral Verse:
(spoken by Apollo)

"From the Proceeding of Vision

Give me your faith, said the Light unto the Man, and I shall forge it into truth; trust in me, and all your cares shall be mine.

Give me your dream, said the Light unto the Man, and I will fashion it into a mighty blaze; your hope shall never be consumed, but shall shine forever, and their hour of need it will lead the multitudes to salvation.

Give me your vows, said the Light unto the Man; by them I shall conquer the fear of all people, and though the Universe may claim them, their promise shall become immortal."

The Elegy:
(spoken by Hippocrates)

"These sons and daughters of Vircus gave their lives to defend a planet that they had never seen, and people they never knew. To risk this without hesitation was their vow. It was my privilege to receive that vow, and to lead them into battle.

They fought in battles at Sparta, and New Light, and at Crux. In their last days, the Linked Worlds rose up as one to free Tinara from the invader. To see the people of the Linked Worlds join hands and forget for a moment their many conflicts is a thing that I've hoped for, and lived for, for the last four years. This is a moment of supreme promise.

What the Linked Worlds now fleetingly remember, the Vircans never forgot. They did not need this reminder that all of us in the Linked Worlds are in the same fragile vessel, and that we all need each other to survive. That knowledge was their birthright. The courage of these fallen soldiers is a challenge to each of us. Promise does not become immortal of its own accord. We have to make it so.

Today we commend their bodies unto the sky of Tinara, there to guard in spirit what they protected in life; and their names unto the roll of heroes, there to be celebrated for as long as honor lives in the Linked Worlds; and their vows unto our own hearts, there to fortify us for all that lies ahead."

The Release of the Bodies: Before the bodies are released from the shuttle bay, Hippocrates reclaims all of the pictures, and affixes the personal objects more securely to the bodies.

There is a temporary ramp, for pallbearers to carry the bodies up the ramp and then lift them up to the edge of the shuttle bay forcefield, and then Hippocrates pushes them out and on-course to Tinara.

Starbuck and Apollo, and the Vircan Blades do most of the pall-bearing, with assistance from such members of the crew as wish to do so.