Purple Elephants part 2

The cafeteria was sparsely populated, most of the unbonded alpha watching the outsiders, and the unbonded neo preoccupied with them or the goings-on as well. Piper picked at her ‘food,’ a salty, fatty gelatinous blob of something with noodles. As awful as it was on her tongue, it literally slithered down her throat, and she willed herself not to gag.

The Alphas and Romeo seemed unaffected by the food eating it with equal gusto. Most of the Neos universally at this point called into question the Alphas sense of taste.

“Man tastes just the same.” Romeo said with almost a wistful look.

“I know I have had this since I was a Pup in BOOT.” Fox said taking a mouth full of … whatever questinable gelatinous mush was on his plate. “Brings me back.”

“I know … do they have pound cake?” Romeo asked.

“They do!” Fox said sliding one to Romeo.

“You da ALPHA!” Romeo grinned like a child.

Dove watched the exchange in horror. “I feel part of me should stop them. I am both fascinated and horrified at their ability to eat EVERYTHING.”

“It comes in handy.” Piper replied, sliding her mostly untouched tray to her Alpha.

Romeo blinked looking between her food and Piper. “Not feeling well?” Romeo asked with genuine concern clearly oblivious over the quality of the food.

Piper smiled, and took a sip of her water, attempting to explain. “I….”

Fox implied that some of the Neo were spoiled yesterday. Dove said as she took a forkful of her own food.

Piper made a face, and hesitated for a moment, then slid her tray back to herself, dipping one of the crackers in the gelatin meal to see if it helped. It didn't, but she was now determined to get it down. Romeo could kick Foxtrot’s ass if he calls me a spoiled Neo. Remember the pictionary incident?

Is that still banned?

According to Pyria it is.

One time! Dove complained.

Right? You know that hole in the wall is still there?

Probably as a reminder …

“Are we talking about Pictionary? I’ve ALWAYS wanted to play!” Maggie said brightly as she passed by

“Are we playing Pictionary?” Romeo asked.

“Isn’t it still banned?” Fox questioned suspiciously.

“Pyria says no Pictionary.” Piper grumbled, casting her eyes downward. “She also wants us to stop talking about Pictionary. Doesn’t she get the Purple Elephant thing?“

“Tits.” Fox and Romeo snickered.

“Dammit! Like fish in a barrel.” Piper laughed, breaking off a piece of Romeo’s questionable pound cake which tasted like it was probably baked long before the Mars colonization.

“You think Sy might pound cake? Poor girl’s been having a rough go of it.” Romeo said tearing off a hunk of pound cake for himself.

“Dunno if she’s on solids yet.” Piper said back, swallowing down the musty cake with some bottled water.

“If she knows what good for her she’ll lie and say she ISN’T on solids.” Dove mumbled.

Piper snickered, and shifted her eyes back and forth, speaking to Dr. Cody. She poked at the food, following Dove's example, forcing another forkful down as Dr. Cody gave her his greeting and talked about anything and everything at once. Piper tried several times to get a thought in sidewise, but he was chatty as ever. Finally between talking about the plants in the garden drying up and the dreadful MRE's, she was able to slip in her question.

“Sy’s out of quarantine, but still not on solids, and on a shit ton of meds. We can stop by after lunch?”

“Sure … the girl needs visitors and treats!” Romeo said in a sage-like tone.

“Oh get her hard candies those, I hear, normal people LOVE that kind of stuff when they're sick!” Fox said all too happy to share his tid bit of rumor on how people acted outside the spire.

“Huh…” Piper replied, genuinely impressed at his information. “We can probably pick them up outside the Spire….” she cajoled, shooting hopeful eyes to her Alpha.

“Don’t see why not. Sides can get some news if anything changed. At least we have a short reprieve from the damned protesters.” Romero shook his head. “Gate STILL smells like rotten peanut butter.”

"Still don't know why someone would put that of all things on the gate." Piper had always tried to understand others, but sometimes they were so random that it made no sense. When she saw the sorrowful look in her Alpha’s eye, and she sat back down her seat. “After, of course, you had your pound cake.”

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