Empress Hoshi Sato stood on the bridge of the ISS Defiant, studying the latest map of her Empire. She was trying to decide where to take the Defiant next to expand her Empire. She mused to herself, “I think that maybe it’s time to finally humble the Gorn Hegemony. This could be another gateway to wiping out the Klingons. Hmm, or maybe I could go and deal with those pesky Vulcan rebels again.”
Hoshi pick up the strange finger foods that were apparently called hush puppies. They were the tastiest thing she had ever eaten; light-years better than the usual food her chef normally produced. Hoshi happily munch on them as she plotted her next move.
The turbo lift opened and her most loyal Captain April Duffy who now commanded one of the Empire’s newest ships the Attack Class ISS Chakram emerged escorted by the Empire’s most loyal alien and best interrogation officer, the infamous Caitian, Naurr, who went by the native American name for a jaguar of Nahuel, to show his loyal to the Terran Empire.
Both April and Nahuel crisply saluted and stood at attention. Hoshi smiled at her loyal servants and said, “Ironblaze the Sword of Conquest grows restless, and as Khan reminded Terran-kind, it a case of either conquer or be conquered, so it time for a new offensive, and as the rebels have been all but silenced, I propose that we must…”
Suddenly Hoshi stopped speaking, screwed up her face and grabbed her backside before continuing, “Must ... conquer ... after ... bathroom break.”
There was a loud farting noise and the sounds from Hoshi’s gut were clearly unhappy and loud. The Empress suddenly bolted for the turbo lift doors, screaming as she left, “Nahuel … throw Chef Erika … into the Agony Booth!”
“At once, Empress,” replied the loyal Caitian torturer, his tail swishing behind him.
31st May 2158
Corner of Enne Street and Dary Street
Fep City, Lafa II, Lafa System
The restaurant was packed with Calafans, humans and even a few Caitian traders. A table had been cleared at the front of the restaurant and Doug Beckett; High Priestess Yipran; her daughter, Yimar; and Pkyrul, the Caitian trade ambassador to Lafa II were sitting chatting together.
Meanwhile, Chef Naurr and Lili Beckett were working with Philippe and Cassandra in the restaurant’s kitchen to prepare some of their signature dishes for the entire restaurant’s clientele. Lili was stirring a big pot and making a joke to Cassandra that her new secret for constant stirring was to stir in time with the kicking of her unborn baby.
“So it’s stir - kick - stir - kick then?” asked Cassandra.
“Pretty much,” replied Lili. The two ladies laughed and for a moment the ongoing war with the Romulans seemed all but forgotten.
“While I’m not pregnant I can manage to stir constantly, so why don’t you go and put your feet up?” asked Cassandra.
“Oh, don’t worry, I’ve gotten used to it,” replied Lili. “Jeremiah is one active child. I bet he becomes a kick boxer, or something.”
“Just because you’re used to it, doesn’t mean it’s the way things should be. Now we are here to treat you chef friend Lili for all your wonderful letters of friendship and recipes. So please, go and rest up. Take the time to speak with your mate or the Captain. Show your unborn kitten that it’s very lucky and will enter a world full of strange friends and great kindness,” urged Naurr.
“I think you just want to take over my kitchen,” replied Lili, with a gleam in her eye.
“Well there is that as well,” mocked Philippe.
“No, we don’t want your kitchen permanently, I never fit it on the Ariane,” said Naurr, missing the joke.
The trio of humans smiled and Lili handed the spoon over to Cassandra. “Okay Naurr, the kitchen is yours for now,” said Lili.
Lili walked out of the kitchen and past the fish tank where a group of Calafan children were watching the Earth fish in the tank with fascination. She spotted her husband, Douglas Beckett, at the head table as he watched the Calafan wait staff moving round the clientele serving cocktail drinks and various finger food snacks that Naurr and Lili had prepared earlier. It was no surprise that it was the fresh fruit snacks which were most popular with the star ship crews. Doug could remember from his days on the ISS Enterprise and the ISS Defiant before he changed universes what a luxury fresh fruit was.
Doug was pleased to see that his wife had finally accepted Naurr’s offer of being Reversal’s guest chef for the day, and she was out of the kitchen trying to get some rest and enjoy someone else cooking for a change. He was aware of how big her pregnancy made her and what a little kicker they son was proving to be already. Nevertheless she was still the most beautiful radiant sight to his eyes, so he tilted his head, beckoning her over. She looked at him with a cheeky smile and then made her way over to his table.
Ariane communications officer Savio appeared with a camcorder and announced, “We’re serving up now, so let us all be ready for food.” There was a cheer amongst the clientele, of all three species.
“We’re transmitting,” Savio announced, speaking into a small amplifying device, “to the Ariane NX-04 in orbit above Lafa II. I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to see Naurr’s special multi-species cooking extravaganza from Reversal is ready to serve up here in Fep City on Lafa II. This restaurant is the domain of the legendary NX-01 star chef Lili Beckett.”
“Hardly legendary,” Lili whispered to Doug.
“You are to me,” he replied quietly.
Savio continued, “Luckily, she has kindly agreed to let Naurr be the guest chef in her kitchen and judge the outcome. So the question on everybody’s lips is, can our crazy cook the Cajun Caitian prepare dishes that are equally liked by Calafans, Humans, and Caitians and as good as Lili’s? Well, let me introduce you to our judging panel of experts who will have to make that call…”
Doug added, “Well, it does smell good. I’m eager to try some of that Cajun Caitian cooking.”
“I see,” Lili replied, “maybe don’t like it too much.”
“Oh, are you trying to sway my vote, or I’ll sleep on the couch, or something?”
“Maybe I’ll just make vegan specialties for the next month. How would you like that, Mister?”
“I’ll keep in line,” he promised. “Still…” She elbowed him and they both laughed.
The kitchen doors opened and Naurr led Philippe out. They were carrying two large serving dishes filled with various exotic delicacies. Cassandra followed them out; she was carrying plates and the cutlery. Naurr put the dishes down on the buffet table and once Cassandra had put out the plates, he then began to serve the meal to each of the four judges.
As Naurr served up the aroma fill the restaurant and Doug smiled, “The food’s a lot better here,” he said to Lili, “I feel a little sympathy for everyone back there in the mirror.”
“Burned stuff?” she asked.
“Rotting, burned, tasteless, you name it. If I don’t watch it, you people are gonna make me fat.”
“It’s that much better?”
“You don’t know the half of it, Lili.”