Traveler: Storyteller Tales: Brunch and Trouble

            Pumpkin zoomed into the barn and shouted at the top of her wee lungs.  “Brunch!”

            “Yipee!”  Martok’s excited shout interrupted everyone, and made the empathic fairy excited as well.  She flitted back and forth and did several back flips in mid-air before she finally came to land on Alice’s shoulder.  Martok was just too scary, she said.

            “This treaty is amazing.”  Alice spoke for the first time in an hour as if having a fairy land on her shoulder triggered her mouth.  “It is so detailed and there is not a flaw in it.”

            “It lasted four-hundred years,” Martok responded.  “A single species treaty lasting that long is good.  This one was interstellar, between two species, and ambitious ones at that.  The Zalanid were really that good.”

            “Remarkable.  I have to meet this Mister Smith of yours.” Alice added under her breath as Emile stood up from the back of a console and spoke.

            “That should do it.”

            “Good,” Martok replied and he switched it on.  “Hold your ears, Pumpkin.”  He tuned to the right frequency, picked up the microphone and spoke in a sound like metal garbage cans being thrown against garage doors—only louder.  When he was finished, he switched the machine off without waiting for a response.  “Hopefully that will delay any more hostilities until we can get there to meet with them.”  He then removed a small metal ball from the communicator and slipped it in his pocket.

            “Didn’t you need that magic metal circle thing?”  Alice wondered about the communication.  Alice of Avalon needed it last time to speak to the Vordan prisoner.  Martok merely smiled to reveal his teeth one last time before he vanished and let Glen return to his own time and place.

            “No,” Glen said before he took a breath as if he was still Martok speaking, which in a sense he was.  “Martok is fluent in Vordan and has the voice for it.  It is English that gives him trouble.”  He smiled a very human smile at that thought before he added, “Okay, Pumpkin.  You can stop holding your ears now.”

            “Breakfast?”  Miriam the marine suggested, and they all thought it was a good suggestion.  They were quiet as they walked up to the main building except for Mirowen and Emile who brought up the rear and were still whispering.

            Lockhart met them at the door.  “Cafeteria food.”  He apologized and escorted them to the cafeteria.  “When are we going to get some alien visitors who know how to cook?”

            “As long as they don’t try to cook us.”  Sergeant Thomas suggested what several thought.

            “No.”  Lockhart quickly pointed at Glen, but Glen just shook his head.

            “They liked their flesh raw.”  He did not explain.

            Everyone found something in the cafeteria line they wanted.  It was truly a brunch with eggs and pancakes as well as roast beef, baked ham, fried chicken and plenty of greens.  When they found a round table that could fit eight, they sat and the small talk started.  It was only a short while, though, before Bobbi and Colonel dipstick joined them and forced everyone to squeeze. 

            Pumpkin and Boston were getting along well.  The fairy sat right on the table in front of Boston’s plate and picked tiny bites of this and that.  She also had a juice glass of milk which she said was like a bucket for her.  “You try drinking a bucket of milk.”  She said that more than once, but she enjoyed it.

            Glen was made to sit with Boston on one side and Alice on the other.  Glen did his best to ignore Alice.  He knew she had questions.  He pretended to focus on Pumpkin at first, and then he trained his eyes on Mirowen and Emile.  Then he was glad when Bobbi joined them even if the Colonel, whose real name was Veber, like “Vay-ber” not Weber came with her.  Of course, Glen imagined Darth Vader when he saw the man, but in private he used the name dipstick.

            Doctor Roberts tried to hide his face.

            “Too late Doctor Roberts,” Colonel Veber pointed even as he motioned for the marines to keep their seats.  “You are already eating with an officer, isn’t that right?”  He looked squarely at Glen. 

            “Me?  Never, that I recall.  Doctor Mishka was a full Colonel, but she was soviet.  Casidy was a light Colonel, but it was more honorary than real.  He was really a Federal Marshal.  Michelle Marie had no rank.  I think George just kept her around for window dressing.  She was kind of like a team mascot for a while there.”

            “George?”  Someone had to ask.

            “Washington.”  Glen responded with an absolutely straight face and everyone hushed for a second because they knew Glen was telling the truth.

            “My buddy Lars had rank.”  Pumpkin spoke into the silence.

            “Captain.”  Glen nodded.  “But that was before there was a United States.”  He grinned for the fairy and Pumpkin giggled, just a little.

            Colonel Veber raised an eyebrow, but only one before he turned on Emile Roberts.  “You know, I still think you should be shot for stealing government property.”  Doctor Roberts merely shrugged, but Mirowen got flush.

            “That was my property,” she shot back at the man.  “It did not belong to the United States government.”

            “The mysterious accomplice I assume.”  Colonel Veber smiled and nodded to the beauty.  “But you don’t exactly sound like a patriot yourself.”

            “She’s an illegal alien,” Bobbi interjected. 

            “From further away than you can even imagine,” Lockhart added, and several people had to hide their smiles.

            Colonel Veber did not find it funny.  “I could have you arrested right now.”  He threw his napkin to the table.

            “Fake maple syrup!”  Glen yelled and distracted everyone.  “Don’t you have any real maple?  I hate the fake stuff.”  He looked up at the Colonel.  “And threats give me indigestion.” 

            Colonel Veber was not intimidated, but he took back his napkin and focused on his brunch for a bit.  There was silence around the table then until Alice picked up her steno pad and spoke.

            “So what is a Wolv?”  She grinned at Glen.  She knew that he was now trapped into answering and everyone turned to listen.

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