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He stepped off the shuttle and took a long look around his new home. The river looked pleasant and the greenery was a little richer than what he was used to. The plascret landing pad and prefabbed buildings looked somewhat familiar. He sighed, rolled his head on his shoulders, rolled his shoulders, took a deep breath and stepped from the pad onto the plascret walkway. Well, he wanted adventure, something new to ease the sting of his old life.
He went to check in with the immigration officer. “My name’s Bobby Joe Harris, chef.” He said and waited until his name was found and he was checked off the list. “I believe I was to be set up with a residence near where my Café is to be located.” He finished.
The officer didn’t even glance his way, just handed him a padd and sent him on his way. With another sigh, Bobby Joe wondered what happened to the human touch. Using his thumb, he toggled on the padd and read the quick introduction to the outpost and surrounding areas. He had no idea what psychic fungus was, but he was pretty sure he didn’t want to run across it. The hub of civilian shops and eateries was located just outside the ring of Starfleet buildings and offices but still in the protected area of the outpost. A small cottage had been marked for him about a hundred yards from the back of the small building marked for his Café, Cher Lydia.
He made his way to his small house and checked it out. It was very basic, a bed, a dresser, a wardrobe, a sofa, a chair, a vidscreen, a table and two chairs for the dining area, and basic appliances. He would have to repaint and really set up the place to fit into his idea of what made a home, but that could wait. He dropped off his duffle with his clothing in it on the bed and went to check out the Café.
Bobby Joe stopped on the threshold of Cher Lydia and groaned. First of all, the lettering on the sign was all wrong. He has asked for scroll, not gothic and the lettering should have been in emerald green, not mate black. Then the inside was even blander than the beige of his prefabbed cottage. There were tables and chairs, as he asked, but again, not what he asked for. The wrought iron he had specified had somehow translated into rustic wood. The only thing that had been right was the cooking appliances, only not enough of them. There was no way a single fryer could make the amount of beignets he would be selling, let alone the shrimp, fries, and other goodies. And the cooktops didn’t have enough burners, especially as he planned on creating huge amounts of gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice. Not to mention needing more oven space, it would barely hold a single tray of clams and oysters to be baked let alone pies and breads. He had a lot to do to get things ready to open his doors and he was slated to open in just a week. He prayed he could get it all done.
Looking at the schedule, he found time for the industrial replicators to fix his tables and chairs and the much needed kitchen appliances and put his name on the list. Then he found the correct paint he needed to give the place the lift it needed. He picked out some knick knacks to make the place look a little more like home and then printed out menus. He then ordered the needed food supplies to be delivered a day before he was to open. A lot of it would have to come from Earth, for now, until he could produce what he needed here. He ordered some breeding oysters and clams and shrimp and lobsters to start colonies here in the nearby oceans. He would need the fresh seafood, it made all the difference in the world. He would also set up a hydroponics building to grow the needed rice and beans and wheat and vegetables for his other items. Bobby Joe really hoped that Cher Lydia would take off and be as popular as the Blistered Shrimp was back home.
He closed up the Café and walked back to his home, plotting where to put the hydroponic building and a greenhouse for herbs and spices. For a moment, he wondered if it was worth it to start up a restaurant on an alien planet instead of somewhere more settled. But as he told immigration, he felt that even the outer limits of the Federation deserved good food and relaxation such a place created. So now, his adventure would begin.
For just a moment, he missed Grammy Lydia’s voice telling him to buckle down and put in the elbow grease needed to be great. He also wished that Michelle was still around to tease him and help him pull things together. She would have laughed at the wooden tables and chairs and said they would have been nice firewood on a cold morning. God, he missed them. Never again would he see them or speak with them. Never again would either of them tease him out of a sour mood. Never again could he hug and kiss either of them. It seemed so unfair that all of his family be taken from him in a single accident. The idiot air control officer wasn’t paying attention and two shuttles had been routed into each other, no one survived the crash and he lost his job. His grammy and fiancée were on one of the shuttles that crashed. Bobby Joe pushed the thoughts away and did his best to settle down into his bland housing unit. The start of a new life, he kept repeating over and over until he was able to think again.