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Aperitif

By Dan Gee

Scifi / Humor

Pre-Prandial Discourse

River leaned across and smiled at Jayne as he polished a currently dissected piece of his armory. “I can smell cooked goose,” she said solemnly before returning her attentions to the ball of wool that she had spent the afternoon unwinding and rewinding. Jayne looked back at her, slightly unnerved, but mostly confused. Oblivious to the expressions exchanged, Wash looked up from where he was massaging his wife’s shoulders.

“You know there’s a moon where the principal form of recreation is –“

“Not now dear,” sighed Zoe, nestling back between his knees.

Kaylee stepped down into the passenger lounge, an eager look on her face.

“Simon’s cooking us dinner,” she began excitedly, sitting down next to River who shifted aside to make room.

“The doctor can cook?” asked Zoe incredulously.

“I’ve never met a one who can,” Book called from his room. Tying back his mane of hair he stuck his head out around the door. “They can work wonders on a live patient, but present them with a cut of beef and they don’t have the first idea of what to do with it.”

“I’m sure he’ll do great!” exclaimed Kaylee, looking a little hurt at this apparent lack of faith in Simon.

“Searing a steak is the culinary equivalent of cauterising human flesh. Stop the blood flow.” River didn’t look up from her activity, and was oblivious to the various looks shot in her direction.

“We’re having steak?” asked Jayne, looking up from his own work, eyes aglow with carnivorous excitement.

“Not when it’s been compared to a surgical procedure,” said Wash. “Vegetables are okay aren’t they? You can’t operate on a tomato? Can you?”

River looked up and moved to speak, but was cut off by Jayne.

“Those pretty hands have probably never even boiled an egg,” he pointed out, efficiently snapping together the newly cleaned and oiled segments of Vera that he had laid out on the low table.

“Yes, but I’m sure whatever he cooks will at least be hygienic,” said Inara, bundling her calligraphy and rising from the small stool she had carried from her own shuttle, allowing her to work and enjoy the company of her fellow travellers. She smiled as Jayne pulled a face and commenced wiping his greasy hands on a similarly greasy rag.

“No, it’s shiny!” said Kaylee. “The captain’s up there helping out some.”

“Oh dear god! Mal? In the kitchen?” A look of amused horror crossed Inara’s face.

“I think,” began Zoe, standing up from the floor, “that tonight's dinner plans, however successful so far, should at least be supervised by those who know what’s going on. Are you coming Shepherd?”

“I’ve not performed miracles before,” Book stepped out of his room to join Zoe. “But there is a first time for everything.”

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ElNachoWOTC: The grammar is tight and easy too read while packing a great vocabulary and you use a lot of vivid imagery with your words. One of the biggest things I noticed right away is the gritty realism you managed to cram into this book while going into a lot of exotic fantasy material. Including issue...

Jasmine Chow: As I read this story, I was reminded some what of Terry Pratchett, especially some descriptions of politics and economics. The sci-fic setting is quite intriguing. Writing style is quite lovely and grew on me slowly. I was also slightly reminded of Mark Twain, especially his book A Connecticut Ya...

summerstone: Seriously this is one of the best books I've ever read. The plot is intriguing, I love the narrative style. Its very descriptive and unique, with minimal cliches. It makes for a great read and the sequels are amazing. Totally worth reading. ^^ That's me trying to be professional. But in all hones...

idk956180: Great story with an amazing plot and wonderful characters with very interesting back stories ,didn't stop reading until I finished it.Has a few a errors but nothing detrimental to the story. I'm very much in love with with the plot , it's the thing I found most impressive about this story, anyone...

Dru83: This is a great story, mainly because of the uniqueness and variety of the characters. There's also several mini story lines occurring underneath the main plot. Some of the plot twists towards the end are unexpected and twist at your heart strings a bit. The punctuation and grammar could use some...

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

themyronus: Vanessa has made 'amazing' the norme. I didn't want to read this as I am waiting for the finished and polished book to come out. But then I decided to read one chapter for kicks...well hours later I finished what was posted. Fortunately, my memory is not to good and I hope I will read the book wi...

heavyreader: great scifi novels but needs a better spell checker (check auto-substitution level) and grammar checker!!! otherwise, ready for mass market publishing!!

Steve Lang: I thought this story was imaginative, and well thought out. I also think it was an original piece, and not a rehash of previous scifi stories I've read in the past.Thank you for the effort put into this tale, and I look forward to reading more of your work!

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Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...

cassandrab: Delightful SciFi (for a change)! I am not a SciFi fan: mostly the genre is far too dystopic for me. This book (written by a high-school friend) is, on the other hand, generally upbeat. Yes, Earth's future is threatened. But Earth has a chance to plan a response. And (spoiler alert) ultimately win...

Hawkebat: Playing both Kotor I & II and Swtor I found the story line interesting and it held me until chapter 35 Very good story and plot flow until then, very few technical errors. I felt that the main character was a bit under and over powered, as it fought for balance. The last few chapters felt too f...

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

JulieJeanette: I'm only on chapter nine, but so far I am loving this story!. I am on pins and needles hoping that they find good men in their lives by the end. I am American and so the British tone and lingo ('knickers,' 'sod it' ) of the book is very appealing. I had to find out how much '12 stone' was by goog...

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