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Rated: 18+ · Fiction · Sci-fi · #2321813
The first day of work is always hard. It’s even harder on the Orbital Food Feast.

Food Feast

     After accepting food from a Server, Kaszime was about to start eating it when Braak knocked it out of her hand. “You weren’t about to eat that were you? Did you Mentally Digest this Community.”

     “I Mentally Digested all two hundred Communities connected to this Orbital.” Kaszime picked up her food. She threw it away in the nearest Disposal Unit. “I didn’t know which Community I would be going to today. So, I Mentally Digested all of them.”

     “Then you know that you can get seriously ill because you are a human if you eat certain food in this Community. You could even die if you eat them.”

     Kaszime looked around the Eating Establishment slowly. “I know what may happen to me if I eat here. But isn’t that why we are here? Haven’t there been several near deaths from this Eating Establishment?”

     “We are,” said Braak. He kept looking around the Eating Establishment too. “What have we learned so far about these near deaths?”

     “Nothing yet,” answered Kaszime. “But we just started checking these near deaths out.” Kaszime and Braak began to walk back toward the Food Preparation area.


     Kaszime raised her palm. Braak lightly placed his metal hard scale palm against Kaszime’s palm. “This is the proper greeting for your planet isn’t it.”

     “It is,” answered Braak. “I appreciate you knowing our greeting. Have you been to Tinnon?”

     “I haven’t been to your home planet. But I didn’t know which Community I would be protecting today. So, I learned all I could from all two hundred planets represented here.”

     Braak had a head of a human. But his skin was blue and his arms and legs had scales, including the palms of his hands and the bottom of his feet. “I checked you out too when the Higher Ups told me I would be your Helper for your first few days.”

     Kaszime smiled. “Where do we begin?”

     “I was asked to be your Helper because I’m one of the Protectors who protect Community Sixty-Seven. We have some excitement that happens in my part of this Community. But it’s not too exciting. Let's start with a walk through my part. If something comes up, we will hear about it.”

     “What’s happening here? I don’t understand why I’m being treated like this.”


     Two individual Hocsons from Community Thirty-Seven were already fighting when Kaszime and Braak ran in and got in between them. These individuals continued trying to fight. It took Kaszime and Braak several minutes, and quite a few punches and kicks to them, before they ended it.

     Kaszime took one of the Hocsons to the other side of that establishment. Braak kept the other one near that entrance. The individual with Kaszime kept trying to get past her to continue the fight. Kaszime wouldn’t let her do it. “What was this fight about?”

     “While helping at this clothing establishment, I saw someone who looked suspicious. So, I followed him around for a while. I saw him take several pieces of clothing. When I confronted him about it, he denied it.”

     Just then Braak came up to them with the other Hocson with him. “What did he tell you about what happened here?”

     “He hasn’t said anything about it yet. I was about to ask him that when you showed up.”

     “I tried to stop him from taking those clothes. That’s when the fight started.”


     Braak and Kaszime were walking down a long walkway when Kaszime stopped and pointed at a couple of Hocsons arguing in front of an Eating Establishment. “Is that a possible problem?”

     “It could be. But I don’t think it is. It’s obvious, they are arguing about something. It doesn’t look like they are about to cause any problems.”

     “How do you know when there is a problem or there is about to be one?” Kaszime and Braak started walking again.

     Braak started pointing at individuals, couples, and groups of Hocsons “It’s hard to see possible problems sometimes. But it gets easier to do once you are here after a while. Do You see any problems around here or possible problems right now?”

     Slowly, Kaszime looked at each Hocson Braak pointed to. “Some of them look suspicious. But it doesn’t look like anyone is about to cause any problems.”

     “You’re wrong, look again. I see one group, two couples, and four individuals who may be a possible problem. Nothing serious, but still a problem.”

     Kaszime started looking at everyone around there more closely. “It looks like I need a lot more help than I thought. I don’t see any problems here.”


     “What’s going on here? Tell me what happened here?” Kaszime asked a Hocson’s Food Establishment Owner.

     Braak was on the other side of that Food Establishment checking out about a dozen humans lying with their heads on the table they were sitting at or on the floor next to their tables. He looked at Kaszime and shook his head slowly after checking each one out.

     Kaszime shook her head in acknowledgment after each ‘no’ by Braak. She was barely hearing what the owner of that Food Establishment was saying. Every so often, she asked, “What did you just say?”

     “I said I don’t know how this happened or why only the humans here are affected by this sickness. But I am going to find out how it happened and why.”

     “This isn’t a sickness. It’s a Killing Spree. Ten to fifteen humans are dead, and it looks like there are about that many other humans who may die here too.”

     The owner of that Food Establishment didn’t say anything else to Kaszime. He just went to be with Braak. Together, they went into the Food Preparation. Kaszime stayed near the front entrance. She didn’t want to get too close to all the dead or dying there.


     Looking over an open walkway, Kaszime could see the underside of Community Thirty-Seven. She saw the animals, plants, and flowers of Food Growth. Food Growth took up most of that underside. Food Preparation took up the rest of that part of Food Feast.

     “Each Food Establishment in these Communities has its individual Food Preparation. But it starts here. If what happened recently, we will probably find out what it was here.” Braak and Kaszime started walking toward the Food Growth part of Community Thirty-Seven.

     “So, you think what happened recently started here in Food Preparation? It could have started in Food Growth couldn’t it?” Kaszime stopped walking and started pointing at Food Growth.

     Braak stopped too. He looked at where Kaszime was pointing. She was pointing at some of the animals below them. “It may have started with these animals. But I don’t think it has.”

     Kaszime shook her head ‘no.’ “From what we have found out so far from this problem, I think it was started with some of these animals. You check out Food Preparation and I will these animals, and we will see whose right.”


     “Why are we here?” Kaszime asked while she looked around the Living Area of a large Individual Residence. “I don’t see any problems here.”

     “That’s because there aren’t any. This is where I live when I’m not Protecting this part of Community Thirty-Seven.” Braak walked over and sat in a Leg Supporting Seat he leaned back in. He patted the arm of the Seat next to him.

     Kaszime went over and sat in the Seat next to Braak. She leaned back and raised her legs too. “I didn’t know we had to live in the Community we would be protecting. That can’t mean I will be protecting Community Thirty-Seven too.”

     “We don’t have to live where we protect.” Braak taps a button on the arm of his Seat. The wall opposite them opened to reveal about a hundred small image monitors showing all areas of his part of that Community. “I just prefer to do it so that I can take some time to relax a few times a day.”

     “What do the Higher Ups think about you doing this? Do they know you are doing this?”

     Braak looked at Kaszime. “Of course, they know. They don’t care. After all, I am still protecting. I’m just doing it sitting down right now.”


     An individual from Plasik walked out of a Living Easier Establishment with Braak and Kaszime holding each arm. His arms were clasped together in the middle of his back. An indent around his wrist and lower arm by his elbows indicated he was restrained, but there were no visible restraints.

     Plasiks were an Alien race that looked like a tall human with long arms, long legs, no hair, no ears, and no noses. Just holes where their ears and noses should be. That Plasik looked at Kaszime. “I understand what you have been telling me.”

     “Tell us your side of what happened here,” said Braak after looking at that Plasik. “Did you try to take some things from this Living Easier Establishment that weren’t yours to take?”

     “I did take those things. But I had the credits to pay for them. They didn’t want to give them to me because I’m not a Hocson. So, I took them.”

     Braak stopped walking. Keszime and that Plasik had no choice but to stop too. “If that is true, the owner of this Living Easier Establishment has done your Race wrong. That doesn’t mean you can take what doesn’t belong to you.”


     Suddenly, Kaszime stopped walking down that walkway. “Is this all you do all day? Except for when you are relaxing, do you only walk around this part of Community Thirty-Seven looking for any Protection problems that may come up?”

     “That’s all I do basically. Every so often, I get contacted about a problem. But mostly I walk around looking for them.”

     “If true, I’m happy I will only do this for a few days. Then I will watch Image Monitors for all two hundred Communities when I’m not relaxing.”

     Braak smiled at Kaszime. “If that’s what the Higher Up told you, they lied. Only the Higher Ups watch Monitors.”

     “I am a Higher Up. I’m only doing it like this because I’m new here. Isn’t that one reason you were asked to help me during my first few days here, because I have never been off-world before?”

     “Yes, that’s one reason I was asked to help you. But it wasn’t the only one. I was also asked because you are a human. A lot of helpers only want to help their Races. It’s like how most of these Communities feel. They don’t like anyone but their Races in their Community.”


     Braak ran up to the main entrance there. But he didn’t go through it as it slid open. Instead, he went to the side of it and placed his palm in an indent that matched his hand. That entrance closed. But so did a thick metal entrance. Braak could hear that happening all around that part of Community Thirty-Seven, but he couldn’t see it.

     Kaszime was about a minute behind Braak. As she ran toward the main entrance, she kept glancing down at the dead individuals there. “What are you doing?” Kaszime asked when she got closer to Braak.

     “Command Central, this is Braak from Community Thirty-Seven. We have another Food Death Sickness. Only now it’s not just humans dying because of it.”

     “I have no choice but to disconnect Community Thirty-Seven from the rest of Food Feast until we find out what is happening here and why.” Braak pushed a red button next to his hand indent. He could hear them disconnecting.

     Braak looked at Kaszime. “I’m sorry, it appears you will be here more than a few days. How were your first twenty hours as a Protector? It’s not this bad usually.”

Word Count = 1,964

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