Sierra looked over the city through the kitchen window. It was a blessing, she’d decided, that her floor of the Bundeshalle came equipped with one. Sierra had gotten into the habit of making herself breakfast as soon as she woke up, which was often before anyone showed up. She cooked for everyone else, too, if they wanted it.
“Good morning, Sierra. You’ve got a big day ahead of you.”
“It’s good to see you, Ms. Luxe. Would you like an omelette?”
“I’ve eaten already, I’m afraid. But I’ll be sure to try a piece later.”
“Certainly,” Sierra responded, before focusing on her own omelette.
“I’ll take you up on your offer if it’s still active.” Sophie Capet had emerged from the elevator at some point.
“Please help yourself, Ms. Capet.” Sierra looked puzzled for a moment. “I tried to find a recipe for the alsatian omelette served in Cafe Gelatina, but I could find no such one.”
“I can almost guarantee they called it alsatian because they put bacon and onions in it, like a tarte flambee. Mmph. This is very good, Sierra.”
“Thank you, Ms. Capet. I may try making that dish as well, at a later date.”
“I look forward to it. Now, our medical and bioscience division would like to take a look at you today, Sierra. Before that, however, you will receive a short psych eval. Purely a formality, of course. Anything to add, Natalie?”
“You’ll be speaking to Dr. Ada Hoffman. You’ll find it easy to talk to her. That’s something we can do as soon as you two are done with breakfast.”
Dr. Hoffman was, as it turned out, another maid, in all but profession. Sierra curtsied to her, walking into a cozy and warmly lit room. Her fears of the two maids simply staring at each other because neither could initiate conversation were immediately dispelled by the doctor’s greeting.
“Hello, Sierra. Please, sit down.” The maid complied, and Dr. Hoffman, reading her puzzled expression, explained. “We can more easily speak our minds when we are around others...like us. Now, how have you been doing?”
“I’ve been...happy here,” Sierra said.
“Are there any concerns you have about the future?” The PhD asked.
“Yes, I find that there are. I have an...important meeting coming up, with some equally important implications.”
“I commend you for keeping sensitive information guarded, but you don’t need to worry. I know about how you’ll be meeting with the Talerian ambassador; how you need to somehow convince them you’ve suffered a fate worse than death. Lying doesn’t come easily for people like us, but it can be done. Do you have any ideas of how you’ll convince them?” Sierra visibly relaxed, looking like she had deflated somewhat. But her face remained grim.
“I...need to somehow make them think I’m miserable. But that means I may have to speak badly of those who have treated me so kindly. It seems...an impossible task.” Dr. Hoffman placed a hand on Sierra’s own, which she kept clasped together on her lap.
“I understand, more than you can possibly know.”
“I wish...they’d been led to believe I’d died on atmospheric entry. I simply want to lead a normal life.” Sierra thought of something. “Couldn’t it be made to look like I...committed suicide in custody?”
“I’m afraid that would almost guarantee Federation involvement, which the WG’s diplomats, as well as your own superiors, are trying to avoid with this closed-door meeting. But listen, Sierra. They wouldn’t be going through with this plan if they didn’t think it would work. It would appear that after all their calculations and predictions, they have every expectation that you will succeed.”
“I don’t...know if that makes me feel better or not,” Sierra admitted. “Well, I guess it does make me feel somewhat better. But,” and Sierra immediately felt bad for even considering, “what if they are wrong?”
“If you ask me, Sierra, I don’t think they will be.”
“I...thank you, doctor.”
“Now if you don’t mind, Sierra, there were some other questions I’d like to ask you, though we can return to this topic later. To start with…” Dr. Hoffman inspected a clipboard. “Ah, yes. My sources tell me you were of the male sex (something that’s a little uncommon here, in case you hadn’t noticed) when you landed on our strange little planet. Has your change been a cause of discomfort in that regard? Has becoming female triggered any sort of dysphoria, or the like?”
“Not at all, doctor. I know Soren was...I...was a man when I landed, but it’s...strange. I feel now as if I’ve always been female. There seem to be parts of my old life that…” Sierra looked down slightly, and furrowed her brow. “How can I explain it? It is as if parts of my old life are viewable only through fogged glass. I know I used to be a man, but it doesn’t feel like I was.”
“You’d be surprised at how common of an answer that is in historical accounts of men becoming women via the same method you experienced.”
“If I may, ma’am...how does any of this work?” Sierra gestured at herself, her outfit. Her assets. “And why are some of these...transformations...so...um...fetishistic?” It was something she’d been wondering since she’d got here.
“Oh. That’s alright, I guess.”
“Shall we be moving on, Sierra?
“That would be fine.”
“Great! Now let’s see here...ah, here’s a good one,” Dr. Hoffman pointed at a spot on her clipboard. Sierra couldn’t see what. “How have you adapted to such a drastic lifestyle change?” That was the question, wasn’t it? Some part of her had been working overtime to normalize everything that had gone on. Part of her transformation, probably. But other reasons too...
“I have adapted more ably than perhaps I would think I could. I think meeting Ms. Elaine was instrumental in that.”
“Tell me about Ms. Elaine.”
“She’s very direct and forthcoming when it comes to expressing how she’s feeling. Stubborn and course. I admit I was intimidated at first, but it’s a character trait I’ve come to appreciate very much. I feel...like it demonstrates trust. Of me.” Sierra reflected on the past few days. “She’s witty. She has an easy time making me laugh. She treats me with affection and is highly protective of me; sometimes to the detriment of Ms. Luxe in particular, who is also protective of me. In her own way. Back to Ms. Elaine, though...I’m very grateful that I have had the chance to get to know her. She treats me like a normal person. She doesn’t need to for my affection, of course, but she does anyway.”
“It sounds like you really like her.”
“I d-do, ma’am. Very much so. And I look up to her as well.” Sierra looked distant for a moment. She wanted to see Elaine again.
“Good. Those are important feelings to have...hold on to them.” Sierra nodded. “Now, anyway...are there any questions you have about your particular transformation?” Dr. Hoffman gestured at her clothes, and Sierra’s own frilly outfit. “I’m kind of the person to ask.”
“What would happen if I wore something that wasn’t a maid’s uniform?” Every maid Sierra had seen, including Dr. Hoffman and including herself, seemed to be perpetually clad in some variety of frilly black and white dress.
“You’d...die!” Dr. Hoffman laughed. Seeing Sierra’s frightened expression, she continued. “Well, no. You wouldn’t die. But whatever you were wearing would slowly morph into a maid’s outfit. Weird, right? They seem to be part of us like, say, Ms. Mueller’s feathers, or Ms. Capet’s second set of ears.”
Sierra could have gone her entire life without noticing that Sophie Capet had a regular pair of human ears besides the more animalistic ones planted atop her head.
“Sorry, Sierra. Judging by your expression I seem to have made you uncomfortable.”
“Don’t worry, Dr. Hoffman. I’m fine. Ah...but, what if I needed to perform a task that required full body protection? Or if I wanted to stay warm in winter? Would the strange magic changing our outfits allow that?”
“It’s not magic,” Dr. Hoffman replied reflexively. “Or maybe there is some magic involved. Regardless, whatever strange force changes our clothes seems to make exceptions when heavier duty protection is required. Bonus points if the suit we are wearing is still black and white,” Dr. Hoffman chuckled. “Wintertime is simple enough...there are heavier and more layered dresses out there. They serve us well in cold weather, while keeping a much more modest appearance besides.”
“I have one more question, Dr. Hoffman.”
“My memories from before the landing are hazy at best, but even I can tell my entire demeanor changed. Is that...me? Or was I forcefully changed?”
“That’s a difficult question. In school we’re taught that our transformations will be based on our personal desires. Any school teacher would tell you that you becoming a maid was inherently linked to you wanting to be one.”
Sierra did have to admit that she had been happier in the past few days then she had been for a long time before. Dr. Hoffman continued.
“Some of these changes that take place involve a personality change that someone may have lacked the confidence to undergo on their own; in other words, someone’s old mannerisms might reflect acting for the approval of others or just them trying to keep their heads down. You know how high school can be.” Sierra chuckled.
“That I do, doctor.”
“To actually answer your question, someone who became a maid might have found undue anxiety in their own autonomy. Critics have said that it amounts to little more than predetermined slavery for us lucky few who don the black and white dress; that what we are taught in school is meant to disguise the ugly features of a diseased society. I enjoy my lot in life. But their points are valid.”
“Maybe issues in society cause people to fear independence. Like fearing you might not have enough to eat, or that you’ll end up homeless.”
“Well said, Sierra. How woefully ineffective have we been at solving such persistent problems! Relating to that, though, are you speaking from personal experience? Did dissatisfaction with your old life lead you to crave a simpler existence guided by the orders of others?”
“That’s...a possibility. I didn’t become a smuggler because I thought it was my true calling. Rather I ran stolen goods because I saw that as being more lucrative than the more legal career paths I’d been offered. Now I feel nothing but shame for my earlier misdeeds...but I’m not entirely without sympathy for...well, the old me. Maybe all I ever wanted was a quiet life where I could live comfortably without stepping on any toes. I guess I may have that opportunity, now.”
“There’s an old quote, something along the lines of “well-behaved women seldom make history”. Contextually, it was said by a feminist in the times when there were still men around, but I do think sometimes about how it might apply to the likes of us. Did you ever want to make history, Sierra?”
“I look forward to the day when I’m not in the news,” Sierra sighed.
The elevator reached ground level, and kept going.
“We keep Science and Medical underground,” Ms. Luxe explained.
“So they won’t bother us,” Ms. Capet chuckled, before Ms. Luxe continued.
“We’ve got a lot to do today. Your meeting with the Talerian ambassador in Paris is in two days, so we best make sure we’re ready.”
Oooh, gay Paree! Wait, two days?
“Forgive me for asking, ma’am, but why Paris?” It wasn’t as if the Talerians would actually be there.
“Paris is the capital of our lovely state of Westeuropa, so it fittingly hosts a holomeeting room. If you’ve never seen one of those, it allows for remote discussion that still provides the illusion of an in-person meeting. We use them to communicate with...extraplanetary entities. Paris has the closest one.”
Ah, that makes sense.
“Here’s our floor,” Ms. Capet said. “You’ll be seeing Dr. Zimmer, who’ll perform some lab work. Just to get an idea of the state of your health, and so on.”
Dr. Zimmer was a slime woman, who had Sierra pee into a cup. The good doctor did not wear any clothes, but had her body morphed into the appearance of wearing a lab coat. Sierra vaguely wondered if that was hygienic.
“Here you go, ma’am,” Sierra said, handing the gooey doctor the vessel.
“Thank you, dear. Now if you don’t mind, a blood sample is required as well.”
“Very well, ma’am.” Sierra sat in a chair with asymmetric armrests, and slipped off the frilly cuff on her left wrist. She tried to think of things that weren’t needles.
“This’ll only take a moment…...there.” Dr. Zimmer provided some context while swabbing and bandaging Sierra’s arm. “With those two samples you gave us, we can get some vital information. Hormone levels, primarily, but we’ll keep an eye out for any oddities as well. The best and most likely outcome, however dear, is that we find nothing wrong and you don’t hear from us again. Other than that…” Dr. Zimmer consulted a clipboard that had emerged from somewhere. “Your weight is perfectly normal for a person of your height, and it seems like your diet adequately covers the basics. Full-body scan showed no irregularities. I’ll let you get back to your day, Sierra.”
“Thank you for providing a physical, ma’am.”
“Take care of yourself, dear. You’ll be contacted if anything comes up.”
Sierra and company met with some more scientists who examined and studied the extraterrestrial maid. (flesh this out?) A couple scientists marveled at her universal translator, once a body scan revealed it to them.
“[And you can understand what I’m saying now?]”
“Do you know what language I’m speaking?”
“Norwegian, I believe. Nynorsk, specifically.”
“Amazing. But you don’t...speak Nynorsk?”
“Not a lick, ma’am.” A random memory surfaced. “My grandfather spoke it. He moved to New York when he was young.”
“A memory of your own Earth...fascinating.” Another scientist broke in, still focused on
“Please repeat this for me, if you will. In any language besides the one I say it in. ‘[The rains fall in the valley as spring winds blow]’.
“The rains in the...valley fall, while the spring winds blow. Um...Cantonese, ma’am?”
“Impressive...there’s a slight disconnect with Eastern languages translating to Western...but….incredible. This could revolutionize so much.”
“Clean up the bureaucracy for one,” another scientist laughed.
Sierra was led to yet another room, where two more women waited for her. One of them looked to be a relatively high-ranking officer, but the maid was distracted by other aspects of her appearance. She was very tall, for one thing. She was also statuesque in the most literal sense; she appeared to be chiseled from polished marble. While she stood rigid, slight movements broke the illusion somewhat -- she was obviously breathing. She regarded Sierra with unreadable features.
The other woman was shorter, and wore glasses. She looked like a relatively unmorphed human, though her hair, which was worn in two very long braids, suggested a non-combat role. She acknowledged the maid with a friendly nod, and began talking.
“This is Captain Beatrix Metzger of the Space Marine Sciences branch of the Westeuropa Navy, itself a divi --” The Captain held up a hand. “Eheheh. Sorry, it’s a mouthful. We don’t have a formal space marine force as per the ordinances set in place by the Federation, but, well, that’s actually the topic of our discussion today. Oh! And I’m...um...Science Officer Seline Weber. At your service.”
Sierra curtsied to the officers. Captain Metzger began speaking.
“We’re here on behalf of the World Government, Maid Sierra. We’d like to ask you some questions about your past experiences.” Sierra nodded affirmation. “Ms. Weber?” the captain said.
“Yes...um...so we’ve been told that you were a smuggler, Ms. Stinson? Sierra? In...space?” Sierra nodded once more. “Ah, ok. Good...um, so we had some questions…” The captain rolled her eyes. “Have you come into contact with elements of the Federation’s navy? And can you tell us anything about the ships in orbit?”
“We’d like to cross-examine whatever you can tell us with our own intelligence,” the captain added. Sierra searched back through her memories. She’d had plenty of encounters with the Fed48 in her travels.
“I’d like to help you if I can, Captain. But I’m not sure where to begin. I don’t have a lot of formal knowledge of the matter, but I’ve been in contact in the past.”
“Good, good. That’s what we’re looking for. We don’t get many chances to go up there,” Captain Metzger replied. “Can you start on what you know, if anything, about the ships in orbit? Their armaments, perhaps?”
“The biggest ones, the superheavy cruisers, I don’t know much about, I’m afraid. I feel like their bulk makes them a common feature of blockades, but I never came across one, as an enemy or otherwise, when I performed my illegal deliveries.”
“Smaller vessels would be more effective at policing...that might make sense. And big, flashy dreadnoughts can indicate a fleet-in-being. Or maybe not, if so many ships are committed to our system.” The captain thought for a moment. “Would you say they were the ones that would carry any sort of surface devastation weaponry?”
“I couldn’t say for certain, ma’am. But ships that would definitely be armed for that...would be the needles, I believe.”
“Needles?” The captain repeated. Officer Weber had a holo out, and seemed to be taking notes. Needles...a memory resurfaced.
“I mean, SA Crafts, ma’am. Stellar Artillery. Or maybe it was ‘Surface Attack’. I’ve heard both used. Terrible machines, with destruction as their single purpose.” Sierra shook her head. Those types of ships had definitely been among the ones littered Earth 721’s orbit. “I had a run-in with one, once.”
Soren exited hyperspace. The base of pirates he’d been hired by unfolded before him, orbiting a desolate and remote world. Something was wrong, however. A long, narrow ship, accompanied by some escorts, loomed outside the criminal headquarters. Derelicts and wreckage of the pirate fleet floated among them.
“Shit...Feds got here first. Minimize our signature,” he commanded. His ship went dark, the only light coming off the essential consoles. They might chase him if he ran, so it was probably best to mimic a stray civilian in this scenario.
Also, he wanted to see what would happen.
“What is that? A Fed frigate? ‘Bout the size of one...but the shape’s weird.” His ship’s display highlighted the Federation vessel, marking points of interest. “No, cut that out. We don’t need them picking up our scan.” Soren watched as the unidentified vessel opened up -- panels unfolded and fanned outwards, revealing numerous exhaust ports and vents. There was an eerie calm, as he watched a mechanical flower bloom in the silence of space.
“A cannon ship?”
Sure enough, parts of it took on a sinister glow as it charged up. The afterburners went to full blast, and Soren only had a moment to wonder why -- a beam of light fired out of the ship, directly cutting through the pirate base. A chain of explosions followed the incinerating beam, and didn’t stop until there was nothing left of the base.
“So much for this delivery,” Soren sighed.
Officer Weber was taking notes with intent.
“Fascinating,” the captain said. “So if a state of war were to erupt, those would be our number one priority. And they allowed the pirates no prisoners? That suggests some unpleasant things about the Federation’s war doctrine. There was conjecture, theories even, that one particular class of ships in orbit were basically giant guns, and this is consistent with that. Thanks for the intel, Maid Sierra.”
“As far as war doctrine, ma’am. That’s a field I know very little about, but that ship may have been acting on the orders of one of the Federation’s parts, rather than its whole.” The captain raised an eyebrow.
“I believe the Federation is…” Sierra searched for the word. She was digging through any number of forgotten civics lessons. “Decentralized?”
“Of course. The very nature of a federated state, such as our own World Government. But the Fed48 has only ever communicated with us at its highest level, you see. To present a unity of purpose, perhaps. Please...go on.”
“The Federation of 48 Planets is an official title, but their reach extends further than that, ma’am. It’s more a coalition of 48 affiliated, space-faring empires. Most are just one planet, but a number have intergalactic, even multidimensional, reach.” Sierra hoped that was how the textbook went.
“So how is authority weighted among the Council of 48, then?” Officer Weber wondered aloud. She pushed her glasses up, having looked up from her notes. “48 equal votes, or...um...so they say.”
Sierra wasn’t sure, but she seemed to remember the primary speaker holding an extra vote to break ties. The captain seemed to be deep in thought.
“So we have a picture forming, that we can compare with that which we already know. The Federation, as Sierra describes it, is a loose coalition tied together by a central governing apparatus. We know of this because they deal with us only at the federal level -- we haven’t made meaningful contact with individual states or factions within the Fed48. There seems to be a disproportionate response towards criminal activity within their sphere of influence, but oh will they *squeal*, if we dare ice one of our own criminals. They have ships, surrounding our lovely little home, that are designed solely to destroy large targets, or areas of a planet’s surface, it can be inferred; they have enormous supercruisers which may or may not exist primarily as a display of power. Whether they are more fragile, or have armor befitting a battleship is hard to say at this time.” Officer Weber wrote these points down as Captain Metzger listed them off.
“Thank you, Maid Sierra. This has been very helpful.”
“I do hope my information is accurate, ma’am. I’m happy to do what I’m able to.”
“It’s consistent with what we know, if nothing else. We’ll launch a new wave of study into these “Needles”, as you called them.
“We’ll be headed back up now,” Ms. Luxe said. “There’s one more thing to do today.” The elevator ride was quiet. Sierra watched as the pitch blackness around them gave way to a view of the outside. It was a cloudy day, and the sun was starting to pitch towards the horizon. How long had they been underground? Back on the Customs and Hospitality floor, Sierra was led into a small meeting room adjacent to the lobby.
“Good evening, Madame Mueller.” Sierra curtsied to the senior diplomat.
“Let me be direct here, Sierra. We’re all hoping for a successful outcome to our meeting in two days. You don’t have to worry too much, though. I’ll be there to direct the conversation. Now, Dr. Hoffman tells me you have some anxiety regarding our trip to Paris.”
“That is correct, madame.”
“I...may have a method that can help...to...ensure your success.” Ms. Mueller seemed hesitant to continue, but Sierra nodded in affirmation.
“Are you...sure this is necessary, ma’am?” Ms. Capet asked. Sierra remained in the dark as to what all the fuss was about.
“This may seem cruel,” the diplomat began, “but consider it a form of...method acting, if you will.” Ms. Mueller straightened, and donned an austere expression. “Are you ready? Sierra. You will say what needs to be said in order for the Talerians to call off their vessels and return home. Failure to do so...would force us to deem you unfit for service.”
Wait, that was it? What was the big…
It was as if an imperceptible click, or the flip of a switch, spread throughout her as an echo increasing in volume. Sierra’s train of thought derailed, offset by those last three words which bounced around in her skull. The maid’s eyes widened. She shuddered, feeling hot and cold at the same time. A freezing vice gripped her heart. It WAS a big deal.
A fate worse than death.
“Madame...I…” but Sierra could not find the words. She felt like she was suspended in the air by a thread. It was suddenly hard to breathe.
There was only one proper response to something like this. The girl prostrated herself at the feet of the senior diplomat, entire body shaking. For a moment, the only sound Sierra made was the staccato of sharp gasps.
“Madame...I will d-do everything in my p-power! N-not to let you down!” Ms. Mueller looked away sadly.
“And that, my dears,” the diplomat’s voice was barely a whisper, “is why the use of that phrase on a maid was outlawed.” All eyes were focused on the girl at Ms. Mueller’s feet. Sierra shook and trembled, sobbing quietly. No one noticed another entering the room.
“What the FUCK?” Elaine said.
“Who let her in?” Ms. Luxe hissed, to no one in particular.
“Good afternoon, Ms. Claire --” Ms. Mueller started, but was cut off.
“Why! Is it! That whenever I visit...this fucking place…” Elaine shook her head, and glanced at the others in the room, likely wishing at that moment that looks could kill. ”Step away from her. NOW.” Looking down, she continued, “Sierra. Sierra! Snap out of it. Breathe, Sierra. You’ll be ok.” Elaine looked back at the other three. “What did you DO?”
“This is merely a precautionary measure for Sierra’s meeting --”
“Yeah. I’m sure she’ll be able to tell them plenty.” Sierra got up off the ground, controlling her breathing, and quietly dusted herself off. The girl gave a yelp when Elaine grabbed her by the wrist. “‘Fate worse than death’, I got it. Why make her have to lie when you can just make her want to die? Come on, Sierra. I’m getting you out of here.” Sierra barely had a moment to think before Ms. Luxe started talking.
“Not a single step towards the door, Sierra. That’s an order. And YOU,” she said, turning to Elaine, “leave immediately and maybe I won’t have you arrested for attempted assault and abduction.” The serpentine woman looked, surprised, at her hand, which threatened to crush the maid’s wrist.
“Please leave, Ms. Elaine. Please do not go to prison for my sake.”
“LEAVE!” The maid shouted. Elaine recoiled, caught by surprise, before abruptly turning towards the door.
“Congratulations, Sierra, on being one of them…” Elaine retorted, voice breaking, before accelerating out the room and towards the elevator. Silence fell, and Ms. Capet put a hand on the maid’s shoulder. Sierra then proceeded to speak.
“P-please...I humbly ask you…” It was hardly a whisper. “Please...don’t arrest Elaine.”
Everyone looked at the maid who had broken the silence on her own.
Sierra sat on her bed, staring absently at the wall. It had been a long day. She was too exhausted to process emotions, so instead busied herself with the stream of her own consciousness. Did Elaine go home? Would she try to return tomorrow?
Did she feel betrayed? “Maybe because I did betray her,” Sierra thought. She had no choice. Orders were orders. She absently rubbed her wrist, and looked at her feet. She couldn’t please everyone if she wanted to carry out her duty. Sierra looked back up. She couldn’t please everyone...
“I’m sorry, Elaine,” Sierra told the wall. It did not respond. All she could do now was wait for the meeting. And then, persuade the Talerians to leave. If she was unable to do that...then…
She wouldn’t kill herself. Unless she was told to. Sierra privately hoped someone would tell her to. It was better than being useless.
“Sierra?” A figure was suddenly in her doorway. The girl lying on the mattress turned her head to see Sophie Capet.
“My goddess, Sierra, you look terrible. Ms. Mueller made a mistake. She knows that now.”
“I’m sorry my appearance has failed to meet expectations, ma’am,” Sierra said, monotone.
“I...forget I said anything. I didn’t mean it like that. I just came to see if you wanted dinner. We’re leaving tomorrow, so you should make sure you’re fed and rested.”
“Please don’t worry about me, ma’am. I will do everything in my power to succeed in my task.”
“You said that already, silly girl. Come have dinner.”
Sierra walked to the cafeteria to find the C&H crew waiting for her.
“Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii, Sierra! We’re gonna be going with you tomorrow! To, um, Paris!”
“Hello Ms. Morgan. It...pleases me to see you. You too, Ms. Amelie.” The succubus nodded and grinned.
“We’ll be your escort in the city, Sierra. And don’t worry about the accommodations -- we’ve got a chic hotel picked out, and our pals in the diplomatic corps were kind enough to foot the bill.” Sierra sat down at the table.
“Have some stir fry, Sierra,” Ms. Capet. “It’s the one thing Nat here knows how to cook.” At that, Ms. Luxe rolled her eyes.
“It’s better than the one thing you know how to cook, Missy. And Sierra...you don’t have to worry. No charges will be filed against Ms. Claire at this time. If she interferes again, however…”
“Drop it, Natalie, and let the poor girl eat,” Ms. Capet interjected.
“Like, what’d we miss?” The blonde pilot asked. Amelie turned to her comrade and shook her head.
“It’s none of our business, Morg.” The group focused on the meal for a short while.
“Where’d you learn how to use chopsticks, Sierra?”
“I’m not entirely sure, Ms. Amelie. I must have used them before at some point.” Sierra then realized that she had picked up a pair of chopsticks and was wielding them like she had used them her entire life. That realization caused her to drop the clump of rice that she had been about to eat.
“Well Ms. Rose, it seems you’ve caused the poor girl to forget her technique.” Ms. Capet sighed.
“It’s no trouble, Ms. Amelie.” The maid frowned as another bite fell back into her plate. The late dinner went on for a while longer. Sierra volunteered to clear the table and take care of the dishes. Morgan did her best to help. Before long, Sierra was back in her white room. The bed looked very inviting.