Research Facility "Tropical Paradise", Residential Sub-Basement 3 Officer Quarters Schhhhshhh It was a subtle sound, the inattentive would pay no mind to it as a background to the sound of metal seams separating. It was the sound of atmosphere being drawn into the interior of a vacuum stabilized metallic container. It was a mingling of sounds that came about thrice within the space of Ei’ika’s quarters, as a trio of small containers had their contents bared to the world their interior had never seen before. Last the contents had met with light and atmosphere was on Lor, in a canning facility that had been in service for over two hundred years, following the same processes and recipes that had been used for another two-hundred years prior to that, and were inspired by recipes from five thousand years prior. Despite breaking the seals, Ei’ika did not fully peel away their lids, instead, she slipped one container at a time into the small countertop heating unit which used a combination of projected infrared and heating coil elements to heat the metallic container and the contents within to a safe range intended to eliminate any lingering biological organisms that had laid dormant for the months between packaging and use. With heat came the mixed aromas of the contents of each container. First, there was a distinctively rich and oily scent of an oil bathed preserved cut of fish. Oils kept the meat from heating to a critical point which would have made the scent transition from rich to pungent. Within the oil mixture was an assortment of seasonings, which mingled with the meat anew as heat was applied. Once heated, Ei’ika’s silicone gloved hand pulled the container from the heating unit, peeling away the lid fully, revealing a full half of a hand-sized fish, skin, fin, eye, and all. What accompanied the fish was in a container which Ei’ika set upon the top of the heating unit, upon a heating coil which caused the container to hiss and gurgle as the contents within were heated to a simmer. Learned in the basics of cooking, Ei’ika let the contents bubble and hiss for longer than the time it took for the fish to cook. After about eight minutes at a simmer, Ei’ika took the container off the heating element, let it cool down for a moment, before she removed the lid and poured the contents into a mess tray. What came out of the metallic container were oblate spheroids, beige in color, smooth in exterior appearance but also matte in their reflection of light. Testing her efforts, Ei’ika picked up one of the bits of food between her fingers, applying a gentle pressure before it yielded in a semi-fibrous glob as the exterior starch layer broke with the pressure of her touch, drawing an approving nod from the Occhestian. Lastly, another container went into the heating unit, briefly, as rich zesty citrus aroma mixed with hearty warmth of bread came to fill the air, as Ei’ika removed the container, peeled back the lid, and inverted the container over the mess tray, depositing a cylindrical loaf of a dark brown bread, dotted with translucent chunks of fruit. Es’irrati trout and oh’ran kernels, traditional Lorath fare, but the third item was a newer commercial product Toppen Kekken Fruitasmiagoria, something humie-compatible, as far as Ei’ika was concerned, but the sweetness was something she craved as a counterpoint to the hearty tones of the rest of her meal, a meal which was set out upon the mess tray set upon the counter top. It was not an aesthetically appealing meal, but it was enough to bring a simple comforting thought to Ei’ika as her hands went nowhere near her eating utensils. ”Holy beloved Mother.” Ei’ika started, her tongue rolling in the way of her mother, her grandmother, and her mother before, for centuries had done in somber reverence. ”I thank you for your love, and offer my love in return. I thank you for your guidance, and offer my trust in return. I thank you for your charity, and offer my vow to act in kind. I thank you for this life, and all things in it, for what was, is, and will be to the decay of flesh, and the ascension of soul. Mother willing. A soft inhale of breath steadied her mind, reflecting on the words she spoke, words she spoke thousands of times prior, before she delicately grasped her utensils and began to consume her meal. One Lor Quarter-Hour Later Precision narrow wavelength lasers danced upon the surface of the mess tray as it was slid into a sterilization rack, particles and morsels were rendered into an ashen waste, cycled away by a precisely controlled rinse system designed to sweep away excess while not wasting water. Much of the same process was what Ei’ika started, sans lasers, as she quickly scrubbed the interstellar trip from her body after her meal. Drying after her shower, arranging her hair with not a single strand astray, and spreading a thin layer of light diffusing cream upon her pale flesh and a thin white-blue layer of pigment upon her lips was punctuated by changing uniforms and placing her traveled-in set into a pick up slot, a space meant for the grasping hands of those which quietly made the conveniences of Lorath society. Soon the sound of boot steps announced Ei’ika’s exit from her quarters, as she made the long trek in the direction that her true assignment was… quartered? Stored? It was a choice between the two terms which left Ei’ika thinking for a moment on the matter, knowing full well that how her interaction with them went, it would determine just how she would think of her project patient, the door of which she stood before, allowing a touch of a door panel to announce her presence.