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Burning Chickens

Posted on Thu Jun 6th, 2019 @ 8:44am by Lieutenant Asahi Kita

Mission: Snow Birds
Location: Commander's Cabin, Haumea Residential
Timeline: MD 05 : 2010 Hrs

“Excuse me Commander, I hope I’m not bothering you in the middle of something important.”

Councilwoman Seshi Macae was perhaps the last person Luka thought he would see at his doorstep. But, at the sight of the brightly-bundled woman, all he could do was blink at her cluelessly. She was not one to make house calls, so whatever she had to say must have been of importance. Or, so he thought. “Oh, of course not Councilwoman.”

“Seshi, please,” urged the woman, who huddled closer to the door as if she were about to burst through it.

Luka frowned, trying to seem welcoming while still placing himself between the door and what he saw as a one-woman stampede. Did she know he had a guest? Maybe she had a secret vendetta against intelligence officers. “What is it I can do for you?”

Seshi merely held her hands together in the faux-fur handwarmers that completed her ensemble, pleasant smile on her features. “I’ve been led to believe that we’re currently hosting the crew of the USS Vesta, is that correct?”

Oh she knew. Luka could tell she knew exactly who he was hosting. “Yes ma’am,” he replied obediently, as if speaking to his own mother.

The woman took a step forward. Her expression had a polite air, but her body language spoke to an eagerness to see what, or who, was inside. “And that we’ve been doing so for about two days now?”

“Three.” Luka replied plainly, uncertain if he should have explained himself further or not. He rarely had this issue when he was younger, outside of the one time his mother scolded him for having a cookie before lunch. He took a small step back, but still managed to keep his frame in the half-opened doorway.

“And that you’re hosting their Chief of Intelligence in your home?” Another step forward from Seshi, now close enough for Luka to smell her herbaceous perfume.

How she knew enough about the crew of the Vesta to even know who the Intelligence Chief was was another question he would ask another time. Asking now may have been an unwise step. “… Yes? I don’t know if Lieutenant Kita has anything to-”

A sudden expression change to a stern glare cut Luka off from continuing. Her shoulders rose and she straightened her posture, eyes narrowing just past him and through the door. “Let me see him, if you would please.”

“Well,” Luka began, making an attempt to stall as he looked behind him. If he didn’t have fear for a small woman steamrolling him to get to her goal, he had a fear of what he knew what was waiting for him in the kitchen. “He’s kind of in the middle of something right now.”

“Yes, and he’s using my recipes.” Not able to wait any longer, Seshi set a hand on the man’s chest and moved him to one side with one firm push. “I can smell that tumeric.” The handwarmers were first to come off, swiftly followed by the brilliant red scarf, both of which were handed off to Luka. “Let me in. Now.”

“H-hey Asahi,” he called back, scrambling to keep the various garments in his arms as Seshi continued to shove them into his hands. “You’ve got a visitor?”

“Do I?” Came the short-statured man’s voice from the kitchen, coupled with the sounds of what Luka assumed was a deep pan frying of what he hoped was food. “Is it the Commodore?” There was a pause. “Or is it Martin? If it’s Martin, tell him I died and there’s nothing he can do to make it better.”

“It’s ah… it’s not Commander Sorenson.” Luka trailed off, now realizing he had in his hands all of Seshi’s winter gear. He began to scramble to set it all down on the coat hanger nearby as Seshi continued past, stopping short of walking into the kitchen itself.

“It’s not?” Luka heard a sigh of relief come from the kitchen, another sign that he took a mental note of. “Good. I’ll be out in a-”

“You come out here right now.” Seshi put her hands on her hips, voice low but loud enough to be heard over the commotion. “Or else.”

After a prolonged shuffle of sounds from the kitchen, the sight of the dusty blonde emerged, blue and white apron stained with spices and oils, and an excitable collie at his heels. “Ma? Ma, what are you doing all the way out here?”

“I could ask you the same thing, little Haathi.” Seshi retorted, arms crossing against her chest as she awaited an answer.

“Ma!” Asahi’s cheeks reddened, and the sound of the exclamation had the dog yip, tail wagging.

“Don’t you ‘Ma!’ me, young man.” She quickly reduced the distance between them, anger fully realized. Once she made her final step, a hand whipped out and lightly smacked Asahi upside the head. “How long were you intending to go before you told me you were here?” She made a wild gesture toward the cabin, ignoring the pup who circled them both curiously. “Were you going to wait till I began to get grey hairs? Or how about your grandfather, hm? What about him?”

Asahi held up his hands in an attempt to put distance between himself and his mother, a combination of fear and confusion in his eyes. “To be fair,” he adventured, unwisely, “Baba already has half a head of grey hair.”

“Don’t be smart with me.”

Luka, who by this point had managed to close the distance and stand off to the side, watching the conversation transpire, looked down at the black and white furred collie, who was waiting for him to speak. As silence fell over the pair in an odd mother-son staring contest, Luka decided it was time for him to take a step back. “I’m gonna… I’m just gonna go to the other room.”

Asahi pointed an accusatory finger at him, expression suddenly mirroring his mother’s as his gaze followed. “No, you stay.”

“Yes, please Commander.” Seshi’s gaze softened as it rested on hapless bystander Luka. “Do stay. My son may need a doctor.”

Determination set in Asahi’s jaw as he decided to step between Luka and his mother. He let out a breath. “Ma, I’m not trying to avoid you.” He stated, words carefully chosen. “You know how hard it is to find a civilian who’s got little to no record with Starfleet or the Federation? It’s real hard.”

“You’re in Intelligence, you have no excuses,” Seshi whipped back, nose turning upward at her son’s sudden attempts to appease her.

“That’s not-” Asahi stopped himself, frowning. “Ma, I’ve only been let out for like a month. Maybe.”

“And that’s a ‘maybe’ month you had no contact with your mother. Not even a message.”

“Ma, I’m not trying to avoid you if that’s what you’re worried about.” Asahi pushed again, making a gesture as if that meant a thing. “I didn’t know where you were.”

Seshi stamped her foot down in anger. “That’s a preposterous excuse!”

“Asahi,” Luka held up a hand, sniffing the air. Something else was off. “What’s that smell?”

Both mother and son paused in their arguments, curiously taking a moment to absorb the thought. The dog barked as Asahi turned tail back to the kitchen. “Oh shi-”

“Have you learned nothing about how to cook? You’re a grown man!” Seshi called out in obstinate annoyance.

“Not that isn’t a giant stew!” he called back, followed by the sounds of swears and pans clinking against a stove. “I was trying to season some colony-raised chickens and just stuck them in the pan.”

Seshi scoffed. “And you left them?”

Another beat later, Asahi was back out into the main area, now annoyed that he was being criticized. He had his hands crossed over his chest, similarly to his own mother, and he narrowed his eyes. “Pardon me, Ma, but you aren’t exactly someone I’m going to make wait while you’re about to bulldoze half the cabin to get to me.”

“Of course you’re not, but you know better than to burn chicken.”

“I-...” Asahi paused, expression setting into frustration. His nose scrunched as he tried to find an answer, but none came.

All the while, Luka’s gaze turned to mild humor as the puzzle pieces in his head clicked. He couldn’t help himself as he let out a laugh, drawing the attention of both mother and son. “Well now I know where you get it from.”

 

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