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is all- I must say-Thank you so much. I'm overwhelmed." He shook his head. "I didn't even know I was in the running."

Galen extended the breen and a fork, and Ko'Dan eagerly stabbed a piece and closed his mouth around it. Galen imagined his teeth entering the orb, the hint of crispiness followed by the juicy meaty moistness. Ko'Dan's jaw made only one chewing motion, then stopped, allowing him to savor the taste.

"Oh that's terrible. Truly terrible."



* * *



Isabelle attributed the bad breen to the travel time and offered to make a fresh batch. Soon they were setting up in Ko'Dan's spacious, state-of-the-art kitchen. A large photograph of Ko'Dan's deceased mate, Na'Rad, hung over the table. Aside from the rather dim lighting, the apartment seemed more Human than Narn in style. Perhaps he'd become accustomed to that during his time on Earth.

Age had paled the spots on Ko'Dan's head and chest, but he seemed in good health and good spirits. He watched with curiosity as they unpacked their ingredients.

"What are these powders? You can't expect to make breen out of powders. Where is the meat?"

Isabelle unpacked their pans and bowls. "The goal of the Chemical Culinary Institute is to re-create culinary delicacies without the original ingredients. We use these chemical equivalents and process them for appropriate texturing."

"Why?"

"So that people like yourself, far from home, can enjoy the delicacies of home."

Ko'Dan put his hands on his hips and surveyed the ingredients, frowning.

It wasn't long after he'd gagged on their second batch that he'd taken over the cooking. Although the ingredients were strange to him, he quickly began adjusting and improvising to get the result he desired. The mealworms, when he discovered them in an overlooked
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