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18 August 2015 @ 06:45 am
_Project Dystopia_ part 5  

They neglected to tell him how large the spiders were.

Once Ebsa got his breathing back under control, and poured the anti-chitin spell over every single box, crate, container, bare ground, himself just in case there was something besides sweat crawling down his back . . .

Climbed back in the crawler and strapped on the belt with the joy juice and extra magazine . . . C'mon you idiot, they weren't big enough to shoot! He hesitated, hands on belt buckle . . . took off the khaki shirt and pulled on a loose knit shirt that hung down over the pistol. Found a slot the injector would fit snuggly into. Went back to the pile of crates.

Well, plenty of goodies and not much space for them the way the current equipment was set up. He had the hot buffet set up in time for the first danishes to come out of the oven, paper plates so that today his assistants wouldn't have to wash very much. If they ever showed up.

He walked over to the center of the tent and nodded in satisfaction. Plenty of power outlets.

"What are you looking for?" Woofie frowned from Ebsa back to the kitchen.

"I'm going to set up a vendo and fab island with all the coffee machines, here in the middle."

He wrinkled his nose. "The fabs do good coffee. There's no need for coffee machines."

Ebsa contemplated the infant. "Did you actually specialize in cooking?"

"No! I'm going to be a camp manager." His voice dropped to a growl. "They said I should do a stint at each job I'd be managing. This One forsaken spider infested place is bad enough, but I've been stuck here for two months!"

"Wfne Withione. Did you actually think you'd be in charge as soon as you had your diploma on your screen?"

The boy scowled. "They did say it could take ten years. But then they threw me and Rye in here, with no supervisor—until you got here. Well, there was a guy assigned, but something happened and so we were on our own. And we did all right."

Ebsa pinched the bridge of his nose. "Woofie. First, I suspect that what they said was 'at least ten years.' Second, most postings are for two years. Third, you are failing miserably at what I sincerely hope is your first posting."

"I'm not failing!" Scalded, disbelieving indignation.

"Did you notice the line for dinner, last night? Do you think they were being polite, to eschew the vendos for a night?"

"That was just cheeseburgers and fries. I've done that, and with proper fab buns, too, not those dry things. They didn't bother thanking us for them."

"I'll grant that you did keep the vendos and fabs supplied and working. But the camp crew can do that, and apparently did for four months. But you are here to cook."

The oven timer dinged. "Come with me. Let me show you how to do some pastries. If you will work I will try to get you up to speed on how a field kitchen for a large project ought to be run." He spotted Rye yawning her way toward the kitchen. "Rye? School is in session. Grab a danish and listen up. For pasties like this, set the fab for dough number five . . . " He talked while reloading the oven and loading plates.

They ate one danish apiece as if it was stuffed with spiders.

Gawped in disbelief that he could access the special programs. And then that he would access the special programs for the express purpose of creating something that still had to be baked.

Rye squirmed. "I don't mean to be offensive, Ebsa, but this just doesn't taste right."

Ebsa bit his lip. "You've eaten fab food all your life, haven't you?"

"Yes, thank the One! You wouldn't believe what they made us eat at the Directorate School!"

Woofie nodded agreement.

"Siblings? No?"

"Cousins. We lived next door to them."

"And our parents were much too import . . . er, busy to cook. I just took the class because it was required." Rye eyed the last bit of danish and pushed it aside. "So, maybe I should start getting the fabs to turn out some proper pastries."

Ebsa looked over as the first staff showed up. Noses up and sniffing.

"Damn, something smells good." The plates started disappearing faster than he could load them. The vendos were working over time delivering coffee. Tomorrow, real coffee.

He put the kids to work rolling out the dough, sprinkling generously with brown sugar and cinnamon, rolling it up, slicing it and filling a baking sheet, adding the fruit toppings . . .

Even the vegetarians came back for seconds.

Rye glowered. "Well, everyone else seems to think it tastes all right. They don't usually eat much breakfast."

Woofie nodded, and glared at the tub of flatware. "We ought to have used tosser forks, too."

Ebsa snorted, and pulled the last pan out of the oven. "Load the dish washer and run it. I'll do a small run later." He snagged two himself, slathered on butter and headed for Wxxo's table.

Wxxo pointed at the empty chair. "Sit. Funny, not a single person has complained about the wasted funds for a Mess Chief this morning."

"Good." Ebsa nodded at the center pole of the tent. "I'd like to move the vendos and two of the fabs to a central hubs, for snacks and whatever."

The stranger at the table scowled.

"And set up the coffee makers where every one has easy access to them."

The stranger sat up straight. "You brought actual coffee makers, I mean, with coffee beans?"

"Yep. Got two of them." Which have been sitting here in boxes for six months. "Brought some whole bean Columbian with me."

"My crew will be here in an hour to move anything you want any where you want. I'm Ocho Neartuone. Any thing mechanical, electrical, or plumbed is my baby. Ditto equipment setup."

"Ebsa Clostuone. Pleased to meet you chief. I'll start shutting down the machines and uncrating the good stuff."

He scarfed his danishes and headed back to the kitchen.

"All right. We've got a crew coming to do the move. We'll keep one fab here, for ingredients, and put the chest freezer there. The work table . . . "

"What work table? Why?" Rye looked baffled. "I can't believe these people are eating that stuff! While you were gone people finished off every single one of those things. I offered to fab some good ones, but they practically ran away."

Zan Lynxzlynx on August 18th, 2015 05:51 pm (UTC)
It is funny what people get used to.
hollybambolo on August 18th, 2015 07:17 pm (UTC)
I am laughing out loud here. My kids have pulled the opposite number of Ebsa's assistants, to the bafflement of various more distant relatives who never realized that Kraft mac and cheese bears little resemblance to real macaroni and cheese.
(Anonymous) on November 14th, 2017 12:41 am (UTC)
The thing that bothers me here is that anyone working in a commercial kitchen was not drilled and drilled in sanitation. I cannot conceive of someone who had let a kitchen get into the state that this one was in when Ebsa arrived even imagining that he was not failing horribly.
matapampamuphoff on November 14th, 2017 02:18 am (UTC)
Re: Sanitation
If you read on, you'll find that there was a Mess Chief. He was bitten by a spider and died right about the time these two not-professional-cooks-we're-trainee-Camp-Managers arrived. _That Mess Chief_ would have drilled and drilled etc. Now Ebsa gets to do it.