Kaseas Colony – 0915
“You are good to go.” Kondo De La Fontaine held a medical tricorder in one hand and a hypospray in another as he sat on empty crates they had unpacked upon arriving. A table of hypospray vials lay to his left as he tossed empty containers into a bucket at his feet. Behind him in a similar setup was Juliet Woodward, their new chief counselor. She was far more discussion-oriented with the Romulan patients than he was.
“How are y’all doin’? Good to see you. I’m new to this, that’s why you didn’t see me last time.” The young Romulan girl looked at her wide-eyed as she spoke, “I know – the accent’s a weird one. Born in Montana but mom and dad were as southern as you could get without jumping state lines.” The girl’s eyes frowned as she turned over the words in her mouth.
“Mont…ana?” She furrowed her little brows and tried again, “Montana.” A smile of success showed off her uneven teeth and Woodward put her hand out for a high five. The girl startled a little and the Starfleet officer chuckled, “Oh, we don’t hit. Least I don’t think we do. No, it’s a high five.” She explained to the little Romulan what a high five was and why you should do it more. After some intense thought, the girl nodded vigorously when asked if she wanted to try it again. The first time it was “too soft” by Woodward’s judgment and she further advised the girl on the importance that you hear the sound of the high five. She turned around, “Mr. Kondo, I could use your assistance if you please?”
He put the hypospray down and turned to her, “You want me to practice a high five and make it…”
She put her hand up in the starting motion, “It’s gotta slap and smack. Those are the rules, I didn’t make ‘em up.”
She was odd, he decided. Counselors always seemed to run the gamut of stuck in professionalism for too long or damn near clinically insane. It was a wide spectrum and he wasn’t sure where he’d place Juliet Woodward but she was amusing the kids in the line and keeping the parents smiling and laughing at her antics, so he was happy to oblige her in a measure. He put his hand in the same motion and they high-fived, the slap and smack of the collision of their palms echoing through the lines, startling some but then the laughter smoothed it over. He looked to the grinning Romulan girl, “Beat that.” She narrowed her eyes at him as if sizing him for a fight. She turned to Woodward and put her hand in the position she had watched them perform. She sent her hand into the chief counselor’s hand and a resounding crack was the result. The girl was so excited she seized Juliet in a hug and ran off to tell her waiting parents about what she had just learned and done.
Woodward smiled a smile that moved something inside Kondo. He return his attention to his line as Juliet shouted out, “Okedokee. Next in line!”
Kaseas Colony – 1100
“You’ve never had jambalaya?” Juliet shook her head at Kondo, “I’m sure the food in France is nice and all, but you haven’t eaten until you feasted on some down homemade jambalaya.” She pulled out an extra bowl and poured some of hers into it and handed it over to him, “I make it fresh and full – no replicator crap for me, no sir. I ain’t about that life.”
They sat under a shaded tree taking a lunch break from the immunization process. Kondo sniffed at the bowl and eyed Juliet carefully, “I am amused with the slam on French food considering that…”
She rolled her eyes at him, “Yea, I know. The French had their time in Louisana and all that. I spent summers in Nawlins…but you gotta admit the French influenced the already banging food they had down there as it was. Less talkin’ – get you some of dat.”
Kondo surrendered and dipped a spoon in with care and tasted jambalaya for the first time. His eyes went wide at the flavor that proceeded to assault his mouth – the explosion of meat flavor together with the complex mix of spices and stock – he couldn’t find the words to express his feelings. He took another spoon full and found it tasted even better the second time. He leaned back against the tree and looked at Juliet, a guilty look on his face, “I may have misspoken regarding the quality of jambalaya.”
She laughed out loud and slapped his shoulder, “I told you! You gotta try all the good food in the world..and no replicators. They’ve gotten good at it but it still ain’t the same, man. You know what good food tastes like – when it’s made fresh and in front of you. Boy howdy does it shake your soul.”
He finished the bowl and handed it back to her, “That was…something else. You’re going to have to teach me how to make that creation.”
She took the bowl and packed it away, “I can do that, forsure. You gotta teach me about the French and their food, though. I know there’s some bomb breads and desserts they’ve been perfectin’ since the ages of the kings.”
Kondo held out his hand, “I can agree to those terms.”
She did the same but spit in hers and laughed again at his perplexed look, “It’s an old tradition, Kondo. You spit in your hand because it’s an oath – a promise.” She explained, “Look, it used to be a blood oath back in the day – each person would cut a line in their hand and shake, the blood intermingling and it being a blood oath.” His look of horror caused her to chuckle again, “Yea, it can lead to spreadin’ of diseases and the like – so you just both spit in the hand and make sure you wash thoroughly after, you know?” Kondo looked at her, and then to her hand…and sighed. He spit in his hand and shook hers. She announced, “Now we are agreed.” She glanced at the line that had started again, “We should get back to work. Lots of lives to save.” They returned to work with a little more smile and a little more sparkle.