The church was covered with graffiti like the rest of the buildings in the city. Gone were the days of respect and weekly assembly. In these days families viewed lessons on their preferred deities on their TVs in the comfort of their own homes.

Today the church was in use, however. It's interior polished and free of the cobwebs that had adorned it for the last three years.

It was in use for a wedding.

At the altar, Network 23's priest, Vanna Smith stood smiling.

Theora Jones and Lance Corporal Bryce Lynch had asked her to perform their wedding. But because of the recent disagreement between Theora and Cheviot, they had adamantly refused to marry at the network church.

Vanna, who was friends with the earthly owner of the church they now stood in, had made arrangements for its usage. Then she and her friend had cleaned up the place to make it presentable for the wedding.

Both Bryces stood at the altar; the best man, a boy just seventeen that day with eyes that were filled with a knowing hope, and the groom a military man proud and tall with eyes full of love for the woman he had known since the day that Edison Carter had broken into his lab.

The younger of the two was dressed in a simple blue Best Man's tux with a white carnation at the lapel and matching slacks with a pair of dress shoes.

The older, the groom, wore a white tuxedo over a pale gray button-down shirt with a simple pleated design. The matching pants were neatly pressed, his own new dress shoes just visible.

Edison Carter, Murray, and Max Headroom were there, Max watching from a TV in the back. Blank Reg and Blank Bruno were also seated there. Theora's brother Shawn was there with his baby girl in his lap.

Because Theora was an orphan, Dominique had agreed to serve as Mother of the Bride while Theora's sister-in-law Winnie served as her Maid of Honor, Blank Francis and Jaxie served as bride's maids. And Francis' daughter, Mink served as a flower girl.

On Bryce's side, besides serving paradoxically as his own Best Man, he had asked Nicholas, a student at ACS who had once zipped Network 23's transmitting signal, to be the ring bearer. It had taken nearly an hour to get him to agree, but when Theora had explained that Network 23 was not in her good graces, Nicholas had finally given in and accepted the task.

A TV near the front of the church was playing soft background music, a few old hymns about love, trust, and friendship.

A few of Bryce's classmates from ACS had found out about the wedding and slipped into the church, standing at the back near Max's screen until they were invited to join those who were already seated.

"Isn't this Bryce's wedding?" one asked in hushed tones.

"I thought it was," Jenny replied her voice also low.

"So why is he Best Man? And who's that other guy?"

"We'll have to ask afterward," Jenny whispered.

Any further conversation was cut off by the start of the Bridal March as Theora entered the room preceded by the bridal party.

Blank Mink was wearing a little yellow dress with white shoes. A basket of flower petals was draped over her left elbow. She came down the aisle, half-skipping with happiness, scattering the petals left and right as she went.

Following her came Nicholas, carrying the blue pillow on which sat the two wedding bands. He walked with his head held high, proud to be a part of anything that went against the so-called rules of Network 23.

The guests made appreciative sounds as the Mother of the Bride and bridesmaids entered next, wearing chiffon dresses of pastel blue and pink.

The music swelled as Theora glided into the room.

Theora was dressed in a slim gown with sheer sleeves and a flowing skirt that trailed three feet behind her. The pattern was floral throughout, large and widely spaced on the sleeves, smaller and more crowded on the bodice.

Both Bryce's smiled at her; the groom happy to be marrying her, the Best Man knowing that he was seeing his own future unfolding before him.

Theora reached the altar. Now she stood alongside the man who loved her and the boy who one day would, seeing the two beaming grins that were both meant for her.

Both the bride and groom barely heard the preamble, so focused on each other were they. It in itself was nothing special, the same preamble used in weddings since woman had first glided down the aisle of a church.

Then the vows came, which L.C. Bryce and Theora had written themselves.

All attention was on the Lance Corporal as he spoke the vows that would forever connect him to the woman who stood before him.

"I have been through love and war and found that I prefer love. And the love that I prefer is that which comes from you, Theora. I wish for nothing more than to spend my life with you, to journey with you through the times that are yet to come. And to always be by your side whether in adventure or ennui. Theora, I will always love you."

Now it was Theora's turn to speak.

"I am honored to be chosen by a man as brave and as noble as you. And I hope that I will always be worthy of the love that we share. You stand before me, a paradox wrapped in love, and I accept this mystery with all my heart. Lance Corporal Bryce Lynch, I will always love you."

In the fourth pew, Shawn's daughter let out a wail, which was quickly calmed by a pacifier.

"Just shy of a year old and she's already crying at weddings," Shawn whispered to Jenny who smirked and held back a chuckle.

Bryce and Theora both smiled at the sound of the wail. In just over seven months they would have a child of their own.

Vanna spoke now, calling for the rings which Nicholas brought forth.

Once Lance Corporal Bryce Lynch and Theora had exchanged wedding bands, and the pronouncement of Man and Wife had been made, the closing music began and the new couple left the altar, walking down the aisle arm-in-arm.

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