• Nick Richards

Chapter 7: The Emptiness of Space - Part Five

“You have a great appetite.”

Wenden looked up from his plate and smiled at Doona.

“I’ve never had such good food,” he said to her, as he mopped up some gravy with a hunk of bread. “Where did you learn to cook this well?”

“As long as I’ve known her she’s had this gift,” said Tinno, who sat across from Wenden in the dining area. “One of the reasons I married her.”

“Oh, stop!” Doona said, though her face betrayed her words.

“One day she and I are going to retire to a small farm somewhere and I intend to get fat on her cooking.”

“I cannot picture you fat, sir,” said Wenden.

“I cannot picture you not being active,” said Doona. “If we are going to live on a farm, you’ll be working the farm. You’ll only get a little fat …”

“Oh, you’ll get fat when you farm with the new tek that will be introduced to do farm work,” said Vialon next to Tinno.

“Not for me,” said Tinno. “Work the land with your hands, that’s my dream.”

“So you won’t be a soldier for your whole life?” asked Wenden.

“Nah,” said Tinno.

“He was recruited for this role after the riots,” said Vialon. “He performed so bravely and so like a soldier, it was only natural that he be given soldier training.”

“Had to do something to make a living after the riots disrupted society,” said Doona. “And just look at him! He looks like a solider, doesn’t he?”

“He is intimidating,” said Wenden.

“Who me?” said Tinno in mock surprise. “I’m just a humble farmer at heart.”

“I don’t believe it,” said Wenden.

“I do,” said Doona quietly as she served more stew.

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