"Captain, what would you like for dinner?"
"What are the crew having today?"
"The main choices are stir fry with rice made with artificial meat with fresh vegetables from Hydroponics. Or, Spaghetti made with artificial meat meatballs, a salad and fresh garlic bread."
Neil knew the artificial meat was grown in large vats aboard ship, it had a slight meaty favor but was nothing but pure protein. Being so bland, the cooks quickly learned how to season it to make it edible.
"I'll have a little of both."
"What would you like on your salad?"
"Thousand Island dressing."
"To drink with your meal?"
"Iced tea." she walked away to fetch my tea.
Glancing at the wall to his right, Neil still enjoyed the seascape painted there giving the illusion, you were dining on the beach.
Glancing to his left, Neil saw the long line had formed for the crew to serve themselves, cafeteria style. They were quick about it. Being in space, everything was attached or secured in case of the loss of gravity.
By now, Neil felt he was used to it, but the sudden appearance of a head resembling a praying Mantis in front of him caused him to startle.
"Evening Captain." she said in her sing-song voice.
"Evening Poopa." She gave her smile-like feature and retracted her head. She could stretch her neck twenty to thirty feet at will. When he first saw her, he thought her body was a giant walking stick from Earth with a praying Mantis head. Neil soon learned she was very flexible with her twenty appendages, only ten or twelve were used for walking, the others were deft hands that could do multitasks.
"Hey Poopa, you should try this chocolate cake. It is to die for!" Noka shouted in his deep rumbling voice. Poopa never left her place in line, instead extended her neck so her head was just above the horse-like creature that yelled to her.
Neil smiled as Noka cut off a piece of cake with his fork and lifted it upwards to her. Her multi-prong tongue lashed out and cleaned it off his fork.
"It is tasty, I'll try some more" Poopa sang, as she retreated to her body knowing she was next to serve herself.
Poopa picked up up a tray, no plate since she normally only ate the greens. Neil watched as she sniffed each food tray before using a utensil to place some on the tray. As always, they had two or three heads of cabbage, uncooked but sliced in four parts for her. It was her favorite food.
She took no more than a tablespoon of most things but took two whole heads of cabbage. Using the tongs, she picked out her other favorite greens from the salad tray before moving along. At the end, she took a couple of slices of cake before going over and getting her a container of water. All the tables for the crew were built picnic style with benches to sit on. Poopa was unable to sit in them so she went to the one end of the last table by the wall. She made sure her body didn't stretch out and block the kitchen doorway.
Neil noted that all the aliens tended to sit far away from the others as possible at the same table. Poopa was at one end of the back table by the wall. Noka had his pillow seat at the other end. A few humans sat with them, those that seemed to accept the aliens as part of the crew.
Neil knew the reason that they went as far away as possible, sitting at the table next to the Officer's table was Storm, she was the most vocal of the anti-alien crew. The Commander seemed to agree with her.
Neil smiled as his food was placed in front of him. He marveled at how the cooks could take the most simplest foods and make them look gourmet meals.
"Thank you," Neil said turning his attention away from the crew to his plate.
|A.G.. Moye, author|
Born in the cotton fields of Arkansas. Starting writing in 1987 when I got my first computer, long hand before that, my hayloft is filled with old stories. Published in 2011 after being prodded by my wife when she read the first of the Lightning in the Tunnel series books. “Lightning in the Tunnel” series along with “A Stranger comes Crawling”, my first SiFi. Then published T.T. Gristman, my time travel/ love story. Followed by my updated version of my hand written mystery book called “Brandi’s Nightmare”. Then came the series “Chronicles of the Marauder” Marauder Rising is the first book. "Saddle Spur", my first western is in editing. I am writing “IronHearts” and “Doomsday Rock” during editing phase of Saddle Spur.