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31 December 2017 @ 10:18 am
_Cooking Hot_ part 7  


"Does anyone have any idea what the hell is the Ministry up to, now? Or I suppose I should say, the Council."

Rael blinked at her Boss's Boss, the President of the Empire.

Urfa's conference room was stark and bare. A desk at one end, and a table running the length of the rest. Easy to sweep for both electronic or magical listening or recording devices.

The President, on his rare visits sat at the head of the table, not displacing his Director but rather giving into Urfa's insistence that he sit there.

A glance around showed as much bafflement as she felt. "Umm, what is the Ministry and or Council doing, sir?"

"Ambassador Ashe challenged, first the Comet Fall Witches, and then all the other embassies to a public cooking contest. It appears to be turning into a public holiday and fall festival of some sort. They're talking about cultural displays, dancing, music." Urfa drummed his fingers on the table. "He blind-sided everyone, even Izzo, who wonders if perhaps it has something to do Ashes's attempt to steal a cook—Ebsa—from the Directorate."

Rael snickered. "Does the Ambassador know anything about Ebsa other than his cooking?"

The president's eyebrows rose. "Now that's an interesting thought. Ebsa's name hasn't been mentioned as a Warrior, so perhaps the Ambassador is unaware . . . or is he hiding an effort to recruit a Warrior for the Ministry behind a grab for a talented chef?"

Idlo shook his head. "Wouldn't work, but perhaps he thinks if he keeps Ebsa around long enough, he can . . . I don't know? Show off the Ministry to advantage?"

Rael nodded. "Ashe might think that would work, a lot of people have trouble believing the field agents love the adventure. But we shouldn't lose track of other possibilities. The Council may have a motive, but whether it involves Comet Fall or one of the other Worlds . . . Or what they have planned . . . "

Urfa nodded. "Yes, so go poke around. And the rest of you? Plan on going to the fair."

Ohhe paused, a hand half raised. "Umm, cultural displays? Would there be room enough for the Blackhorse Honor Guard to put on a bit of a show?"


"And with news of a lighter sort, here's our correspondent from Embassy World, Napoleon Zambrano. Napoleon?"

"Michele, it's looking more and more like a fall festival, here on the serious and business-like Embassy World. The world that only diplomates, trade delegations, and the deathly ill ever visit has apparently decided to have some fun." Napoleon stepped to the side and half turned to wave at the Plaza. "As you see, the Disco people are taping off spots for the food booths and cultural displays. Only ten worlds are jumping in with such short notice, the Earth of course and Purple. Comet Fall, and Cove Islands. Two Rain of Fire branch Earths and one Tunguska branch. The British Empire, and Arrival. The Empire of the One appears to have suffered a minor rebellion, with one of their Colony Worlds wanting to showcase their native cuisine, as well as the two branches of the Imperial government bureaucracy in a cook-off of their own."

The silly twit back home at least had the wit to ask an obvious question.

"Two branches?"

"Yes, the Ministries answer to the Council, the Directorates to the President. So we have a Civil War—or perhaps I should call it a Civil Food Fight—between the Embassy's top Chef representing the Ministries versus a former Action Teamer with a cooking hobby representing the Directorates." Napoleon stepped in with a grin. "Hopefully there will be no bloodshed, just lots of good food!"

ekuah on December 31st, 2017 05:02 pm (UTC)
Typical Earther ignorance.
The Cove Islands are located on Comet Fall.
Kingdom of the West and Cove Islands would be more correct.
But on the other hand. It not the Kingdom of the West that competes, but a small sub community of it.
matapampamuphoff on December 31st, 2017 07:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Typical Earther ignorance.
Everyone thinks of "Xen and his people" as Comet Fall. The rest are just add-ons.
Michawl DolbearMichawl Dolbear on January 2nd, 2018 12:20 am (UTC)
Re: Typical Earther ignorance.
Indeed, but the building is invariably called "The Comet Fall Embassy".

So do The Cove Islands have a houseboat?
matapampamuphoff on January 2nd, 2018 12:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Typical Earther ignorance.
A stone castle, I suspect. They're probably building a boat down beside that river to the west.

No doubt under electronic surveillance from several polities after they refused to allow observers from several fascinated polities.
(Anonymous) on December 31st, 2017 08:25 pm (UTC)
This is shaping up into a brilliant story. The basic problem (culinary) facing Ebsa is just enough to sustain a short story, but everything since has been making it ever-more exciting. The tension is ratcheting up as all sorts of potential problems crop up. I can't wait to read more.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

(Anonymous) on January 1st, 2018 01:05 am (UTC)
Yes, it's a fun story. Thank you!
muirecan: Withersmuirecan on January 28th, 2018 02:34 pm (UTC)
I much like it. Yes!

Hopefully what with bubbles this promises to be wild.