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You Reap What You Sow

Posted on Apr 23, 2018 @ 5:52am by Lieutenant Eve Dalziel
Edited on on Apr 23, 2018 @ 5:53am

Mission: The Trouble With Triticale

“You Reap What You Sow”

(Continued from “Ahhh, Family”)

=/\=

Location: SHERMAN’S PLANET, Port Emily
SD: [2.18]0419.2300
Scene: Main Street


With the sun not even close to its zenith, the Thytos clan had wasted no time after breakfast in setting up chairs and coolers at a prime location along the parade route. Since it was a farming community, many of the inhabitants were early risers, and so there was already quite a bit of activity. Their vantage point was only a half block away from the Grandstand where the Governor would be stationed to oversee the spectacle. Asta and Lysander hadn’t arrived yet, but Sandy didn’t appear troubled by this in the slightest. She was too busy entertaining the guests that Kassandra had brought with her.

“Now, ladies, I’ve brought plenny o’ vittles and refreshments, so you don’t be shy if yer needin’ anything.” The perky blonde gave the long rectangular container a little pat and at the same time touched Eve’s shoulder, then Jasmine’s. Kass, on the other side, out of her mother’s line of sight, gave an exasperated expression but managed to keep her tongue in check.

Eve smiled tightly. After consuming the majority of a tall stack of the fluffiest tritocale pancakes she’d ever seen, a wedge of a gigantic western omelette, and a pile of home fries it felt like her uniform might be a size smaller than it had been yesterday. “You have been too kind, Mrs Thytos-”

“Uh uh uh,” the matriarch chided, wagging her finger at the Counselor. “It’s Sandy and don’t be sayin’ different.”

“We greatly appreciate your hospitality, Sandy,” Lieutenant Yu replied.

The Sec/Tac and Cns exchanged a knowing glance. If Sandy hadn't wanted so desperately to make sure they had a prime viewing spot, they'd all still be at the kitchen table being offered more of the gargantuan breakfast. It was one time Eve felt that all of Ma Thytos' social climbing had a clear benefit.

The homemaker beamed. “You could learn a few things from the manners on this’un,” Sandy gestured to Kass.

“Ah reckon I could, Ma.” She acknowledged her mother as neutrally as she could in an attempt to get her to stop the comparisons. While she couldn’t imagine how her co-workers were taking the attention, as a buffer zone between her and her folks, but Kass found the whole blasted thing embarrassing. Not that her mother seemed to care. While it wasn’t the Captain’s presence at their gathering she had hoped for, it was still a feather in her cap to have officers from the flagship at her side. And it would be the talk of the ladies’ auxiliary for weeks to come, her mother would see to that.

Jasmine leaned back in her chair, trying to forget how well fed she was. She had checked in with Silsby and the rest of her staff even earlier than the heavy morning meal, making sure that despite the grumbles of unrest towards the festival by the staunch Klingons like Sompek, that there were no obvious signs of trouble. She and her officers would remain on guard, but also allow themselves to immerse a little farther into this unique and different culture.

"Oh," Sandy had not even been sitting down five seconds before she jumped right back up like a singed tribble. "Ah almost forgot." She opened up the far side of the cooler and took out a rounded cake carrier which held a dome shaped chocolate cake that had been heavily embellished with chocolate shavings designed to look like- surprise- a tribble's fur. "Ah need ta git this to the judges' table pronto. Be back soon."

After Sandy left to busy herself entering the baking contest, Hector reached into the cooler, pouring a cup part full of homemade lemonade, part fresh fruit punch, and adding a little something from a flask he kept in his pocket. He handed it to Kass as if he was attempting to make amends. She graciously accepted his offering.

Eve hadn't thought there was a way to refine triticale into a potable form, but cooking with the grain wasn't apparently the only skill the inhabitants of Sherman's Planet had perfected.

The Counsellor put her hand against her full stomach. "Forgive me, but in all the preparation we did before we got here, I'm not sure I remember anyone mentioning a parade."

Hector Thytos chuckled, a throaty laugh that reminded her of Kass. "Mah daughter's not the type to be sittin' round when there's contests and activities to be had. At least she didn't used ta be," he winked.

"Pa, how many times do Ah havta 'splain to ya? It'd be unfair," Kass opined, as she turned to her backwoods planter's punch for comfort. She hadn’t ruled out competing, but she certainly wasn’t going to do it unless she felt like it, not because her parents or Valdyr had goaded her into it. She was her own person, dagnabit. The only orders she followed were Starfleet’s- and even that she had a tendency to get real creative with. Gunny Bellecotte was witness to that.

"I'm back- and look who I ran into at Mrs. Pappodoupalis’ tribble cake stand," Sandy said playfully but with a little nip of sarcasm. Asta and Lysander looked caught, but happy. There was no telltale powdered sugar on them, but they each had a sack which presumably contained more of the pastry that Kass had sated herself with earlier. "You almost missed the best part-” she scolded her grandchildren, “the start."

"But, we didn't," Xander said archly as the brother and sister took their seats.

“What kind of exhibitions should we expect with the parade?” Jasmine asked.

“Floats mostly. Iff'n there's one thing we got a lot of it's chaff and dried stalks cast off by the harvesters, an' other vegetation, take that an’ some chicken wire an’ adhesive an’ mebbe some wood an’ paint an’ ya got the makin's of a fine float."

"How... creative." Jasmine sounded a little skeptical.

"You'll be surprised. Jes wait 'til ya hear this year's theme- 'Grain Across the Stars.' It was dreamed up by this here very visit, of course," Sandy added proudly. Eve tried not to smile as she saw Kass roll her eyes.

"Celebratin' export an' outreach an’ stuff," Pa Thytos added for good measure.

The chatter that filled the now crowded streetsides was hushed and replaced with light cheers and clapping as the parade began. Two teenagers dressed in red and white checked shirts and indigo dungarees carried a somewhat aged but clean satin banner, gold with red trim, which proclaimed "James T. Kirk Day' in bold letters.

Immediately behind them was a small float on which four wooden thrones were perched. The backs had been ornately carved to look like staves of wheat. The ladies were waving at the crowd and smiling. They were all wearing yellow dresses of different hues and designs. All of them had sashes, but one of them also wore a tiara.

"The quintotriticale Queen and her court," Kass explained.

A marching band followed behind the grain royalty. They were middle and high school age children from about age 10 or 11 all the way until their late teens. Their red and gold uniforms were reminiscent of an older style of Starfleet dress uniform, except the trimming and epaulets were much more ostentatious and sparkly. They were playing an unfamiliar, dated song, but the tune was crisp and well-rehearsed.

"Fer fuck's sake," Kass muttered under her breath in Jasmine and Eve's direction. She had chosen to sit in between her family and her co-workers, and made sure only the latter heard her lament.

'What is it?" Jasmine asked.

"One of Cyril's songs," the MCO sighed. "It's as old as dirt. One of her early hits. 'Look to the Sky'. Ah havta give 'em credit though, it fits the theme real nice." The rest of the family, especially Sandy, clapped appreciatively as they strode by.

Eve knew that Kass had assumed guardianship for the twins after her sister’s untimely death, but Cyril Elgin wasn’t someone they had spoken about in all the conversations they had. She wondered how much of a reason that was that Kass had been dreading the trip home. But now wasn’t the time or the place to discuss it.

=/\=

Scene: Governor’s Grandstand
Time Index: about 40 minutes later


Michael Turlogh Kane studied the crowd as the various floats and acts came and went, examining the faces for any inkling of concern or displeasure, and found nothing. There was revelry, camaraderie, and enjoyment. This was embodied in the fullest by Dick Chisum.

"Ooh-wee!" he exclaimed, mopping the perspiration off his brow. The grandstand had a canopy, but it was still a warm spring day, and what it provided in sun protection it had done at the expense of blocking the breeze coming off the port waters. "Ah’m so proud’a the citizens of Port Emily- they've outdid themselves this time." He slapped Kane on the back heartily. "Some shindig, ain't it?"

“You could say that,” Kane replied, unsure how else he could describe it. The final float lumbered down the street, and it was surely a sight to behold.

The entire float was one giant bust, consisting of the head and shoulders of none other than Kirk himself, at least fifteen feet tall and ten feet wide. The grain had been dyed or painted in various places to show the old style gold uniform tunic and light brown hair of the man who had been held responsible for saving the livelihood of Sherman's Planet. Sitting atop the raised scaffolding of the platform, Kane almost felt as though it was staring at him.

The crowd noise apexed in approval for both the design and what it stood for. Governor Chisum looked utterly pleased, and Sheriff Edwards kept the same stoic expression he had for the duration of the PHOENIX’s visit.

The Governor happily approached the podium, which had been festooned with a drape embroidered with the UFP logo surrounded by triticale in a complimentary wreath. “Mah fella Colonists of Sherman’s Planet! Ah’m truly honored by this here outpourin’ of genu-wine observance of Jim Kirk Day! Ah couldn’t let this moment pass without mentionin’ the USS PHOENIX who brung us the bounty of heirloom quintotriticale in honor of this here occasion. I wanna hear a big thank you from all y’all out there for Cap’n Kane an-”

Whatever Chisum said next was drowned out, not by the raucous and cheering crowd, but an explosion emanating from the ground level. The Kirk wheat sculpture was consumed from bottom to top in what felt like slow motion, coalescing into an orange fireball that completely engulfed the float and what felt like the immediate atmosphere around it. .

Kane wasn’t able to judge safe distance, but instinct kicked in before he could question it and he stood and ran headlong at the Governor, knocking him down flat, presumably out of harm’s way. At least that was the idea.

Panic and screams replaced the joyful observances, followed by sirens. Kane rolled on his side and coughed as the air filled with smoke and heat. He could feel someone trying to help him up and looked up into the concerned face of Ethan Edwards. The others who had accompanied the Governor to the viewing were already rushing to get down the stairs. Together the two men helped Governor Chisum manage his way down to the street.

As soon as Kane could breathe deeply again and see that the Governor did not look seriously injured, other than having the wind knocked out of him, he hit his comm badge. “Kane to Byte.”

{{Yes, Captain.}}

“I need fire suppression units and medical triage to my location, stat. There’s been an incident at the Kirk Day parade. And... put the ship at Yellow Alert.”

{{Understood. Byte out}}

“That won’t be needed, Cap’n,” Edwards said as he and the shaken Governor were also mobilizing their resources, using their communicators.

“My people are down here too, Sheriff, and that makes this my problem as much as yours,” Kane said curtly.

=/\=

Susan Ledbetter
Writing for

Lieutenant Eve Dalziel
Cns
USS PHOENIX

 

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