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“Where to?” asked the cabbie. 

“Huh,” said Chef Will Slocum, sitting in the back and trying not to think about the recent Xindi attack. 

“Pal? I said, ‘where to?’” 

“Oh, uh, yeah, there’s a fusion place in, um, over the bridge, right? In, I think it’s in San Mateo.” 

“A what?” 

“A restaurant. It’s fusion cuisine. It’s got a kind of fun name, one word. It’s been reviewed; that was in the San Francisco Chronicle before, well, just before the attack.” 

“Oh, yeah! I know that place. It’s called Voracious.” 

Will sat back, anticipating the meal to come. It was a small bit of luxury, a hoped-for escape, for right before the real work would begin. He was still going over the duty roster in his mind. The NX-01 was taking on fifteen MACOs, plus their commanding officer, a fellow named, what was it? Will had seen the communiqué but he had forgotten the name. No matter. He’d meet the fellow soon enough. 

But right now, Will had to make some hard choices. He had a sous-chef, a saucier and a pastry chef, plus he had stewards like Preston Jennings, who had replaced Richard Daniels, a guy who, it had turned out, was a time traveler. Strange, Will thought to himself. Jennings was being moved over to Navigation. As for the others, they were being offloaded. The nascent Xindi war meant that Earth was not exactly a safe place, but the NX-01 would be even worse. 

“There’s no room for nonessential personnel,” Captain Jonathan Archer had told him. And so Will had had to let all three of those helpers go, and he was wondering how he would feed so many people. He had wangled one last promise, one last favor, out of the captain. If he could find a person who could do everything that those three helpers had done, he could hire that person. But if not, he’d be forced to do most of the serving and chopping himself, with Jennings in if Navigation could spare him. And that was doubtful. Will sighed. He did not want to be fetching and carrying, if he could help it. 

“Ah, here we are,” said the cabbie. Will paid him and walked in. 

He was seated in the roof deck area, where there were several tiny tables with cattails in vases on them. It was early April, and the air was chilly to be sitting outside, but he sat out there anyway. There were only a few other diners with him. It seemed that people were still too shell-shocked by the devastating attack on Earth to want to go out to eat.  “What do you recommend?” he asked a server. 

“The Harvest Salad and the duck burger.” 

“I’ll take those, and I’d like the burger cooked rare. And a glass of your house Syrah.” 

“Of course, sir.” 

He waited and watched the few other diners. People looked somber, and were still at the stage of asking each other where they had been on that fateful day in March of 2153. 

The salad arrived first. It was a colorful presentation, with a mix of fruits, vegetables and lettuces, and even some smoked almonds. “We have orange vinaigrette and we have Champagne vinaigrette. There are other choices, but those are recommended for the Harvest Salad. The chef made these both today,” said the server, bringing over two carafes. 

“Uh, the orange, please.” She left the carafe with him and he poured a little on, and then mixed it a bit with the salad. There were blueberries, pineapples, red deer tongue lettuce, orange slices, pickled beet slices and red pepper rings, along with the almonds. He found himself practically licking the bowl. 

Before Days {Star Trek Enterprise Prime/Mirror Universe fan fiction}Where stories live. Discover now