I'm Going to Assume You Don't Want Me Dead

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June 3, 2178. 

Early morning. At least Lili had slept a bit.

The day promised to be chock full of work, work and more work.

She was hopeful for a resolution but also mindful of the fact that there was a ton of work.

And the first work was cooking. At least the breakfast rush was done.

She had saved linfep meat and fat, flour, cumin and chipotle chili powder. She looked around the galley for anything she could use as a ring. Mice scampered by her feet but there was no time to do some favor or another for Doctor Morgan in order to borrow the snake again. She'd just have to tolerate the rodents. The very thought of that made her shudder a little but she had no real choice in the matter.

While she was heating up the fat in order to break it down into a liquid form, she made dough and rolled it out, then began cutting. She counted on her fingers a few times how many people she'd have to cook for. Fifteen. So she cut out twenty rounds, knowing fully well that someone would want seconds.

In fact, she was counting on their greed.

She barely had enough dough but saved a little in case she needed to repair or redo anything. Then she mixed the meat with the spices. Grabbing a spoon, she doled out servings onto each of the rounds, trying hard to make them more or less even – except for three. For those, she put in less meat but added olowa leaves. She sealed those up and put initials on one of them: SC - Susan Cheshire.

For the others, she sealed them up. Three of them she didn't mark at all, and just folded over an edge. She tried to make it obvious but not too obvious.

And then for the other fourteen HS - Hoshi Sato, TM - Travis Mayweather, CM - Chip Masterson, JS - Jun Sato, KS - Kirin Sato, AS - Arashi Sato, TS - Takara Sato.She couldn't give Takeo another TS, so she carefully poked out his entire first name with a fork. It was readable – barely. IS - Izo Sato, MP - Marie Patrice, DR for, well, whatever his full name was. She spelled out Tom and Joss. And one moreAM - Aidan MacKenzie.

There were no pastry brushes – no one in the galley knew about such niceties other than herself – so she carefully poured a little of the fat onto each empanada – for that was what the little pastries were – and baked them in the oven.

Except for the one marked SC,she put the poisoned empanadas into the bottom of the cooler, and then stacked the others on top. Ready.

=/\=

"Okay, men! We've got a hunt this morning!" Doug yelled at the recruits as they hustled themselves into uniform.

"Sir, yes, sir!" Thunderous voices barked their assent as one.

"The Empress's sons will be coming along. And so will – I think – a kid from the surface. You can hunt a little, but the main objective is to let them bring down the big game. We are there to make them look good. Is that clear?"

Silence.

"I said,'is that clear?'?"

"Sir, yes, sir!"

=/\=

Back in quarters, Lili took the laundered turquoise cloth out and stuck it in her pocket. Then, thinking better of it, she stuck the one tag Doug had given her onto the cloth. She saw Susan reading from a PADD, but Susan didn't seem to have noticed the cloth or the tag.

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