We won't bite

Having finished the back breaking work of muscling the sides of beef into place, Ly was very thankful that Marisol knew her way around butchering, as the nun wouldn't have been much help. Growing up on a rural planet had given her some plant husbandry knowledge, but livestock was a whole different beast. She busied herself with clearing down and stacking the cuts inside the galley freezer after Marisol made careful work of the animal.

“Glad that’s done,” she huffed as the counter was wiped dry. “I’m sure the crew won’t complain about the food on this run. So tell me,” she said, “I won’t get to cook every day, but I love doing it. I try to make people’s favorites. How about you?” Marisol asked. “Do you have some favorite dishes?”

Feeling closer to the woman, Ly found it easy to relate a guilty pleasure: "Well you know, there is one thing. When it comes to meals like this, I am a sucker for beef Wellington." Her eyes grew wide, "I haven't eaten one in years! The pastry, you know, that's the part that really gets me," she made a sound of utter pleasure at the thought, "and that mustard sauce? I must have had one about thirteen years ago, but I've never forgotten it. I find cooking really brings everyone together because we all need to eat, right?" She felt her speech pattern slipping into a comfortable rhythm. Almost like she could switch back and forth between eras of her life at will. A pang of guilt came astride that thought. It was just then that their new passenger arrived in the galley, with a pale face.

"I didn't see anything, I swear!" Serena told her, which was actually true. She hadn't seen anything. "I just wanted to get something to eat, but I'm good, I'm good! I'll be " She skittered back a few steps before getting a better look at what was being loaded into the fridge, and remembering their haul on the way back. "That's --beef? I mean, not like... people or anything, right?"

Lyen couldn't help but cough in an attempt to hide her chuckle at the young woman's question. "Xiǎoxīn yīdiǎn (take heart little one)," came easily from Ly's lips as she crossed the galley to Serena. The girl was lithe and strong, but with a face full of fear and intelligence. Her brown almond eyes were calculating and prodding, the way one tests the sea's waves before jumping in. Lyen's own eyes were warm as she stood a respectful distance from Serena before motioning with her hand.

"Please come, sit. You must be hungry." Ly had no idea how Serena had made her way onto the ship, but that fear in her eye told her there was a story to be told. "We won't bite." There was a tender smile forming on her lips.

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