The two of them made it inside the kitchen before I managed to cross the massive room, but Jurou ran back out a few seconds later– he saw me and waved me over frantically.
Tim! Tim! C'mere, ya gotta see this!!
Huh? Is everything alright– wait what?
Jurou dragged me into the kitchen, where I saw exactly what he was talking about–
–a pile of fresh vegetables, sitting right in the middle of the counter. Carrots, lettuce, broccoli, onions, tomatoes… even some I didn’t know by name.
See?? I ain’t goin’ cuckoo, right? Those are real, right?!
Wh– where did they come from?!
Hell if I know! It's witchcraft, amigo!!
Gugalanna kept her distance from the mystery vegetables, as if touching them might turn her into a newt or something. I was pretty sure I could hear her stomach growling, though.
I picked up a celery stalk and turned it over in my hand. It felt like a real plant to me…
Are they… can we eat them? They’re not, uh, poisoned or anything, right?
I dunno man, tha’s why I was askin’ you! I mean they smell okay, and they look plenty ripe, but y’know, where’d they come from?? We’re in space, right?! There ain’t farms in space…
Well it did mention “hydroponic farms” on the map. But I haven’t seen anything like that… not sure what it even means, really–
…What the hell, I’ll try it! I’m starving!!
Gugalanna grabbed the first vegetable her tiny hands could reach and crammed it into her mouth.
I better not die from this fuckin’ parsnip!!!
Oh my god are you okay??
P-please don’t die!!!
Our fears seemed to be unfounded, however. Gugalanna mulled over the taste for a few seconds, then grinned up at us.
Haven’t thrown up yet, amigos! I think we're good!!
W-well that’s something, I guess…
Alright, now I can get cookin’! Supper’s on me tonight, y’all! Tell the others!
Jurou immediately set to fishing out all the cooking equipment he needed from the cabinets– the promise of untainted food had lifted his spirits considerably. Given that my kitchen experience amounted to making hot dogs and boxed macaroni-and-cheese for my sisters every once in a while, I decided to stay out of his way.
I took a peek into the pantry at the back of the kitchen. It was stocked to the ceiling with nonperishables– between that and the mystery vegetables, it didn’t seem like MONO-9000 wanted us to starve to death, at least.
Gugalanna followed me out of the kitchen and tugged on my sleeve. Now that she was alone, her wrestling persona seemed to crack a bit.
Hey, um, how’s Ishi? That gash looked pretty nasty…
Well, uh, it sounds like she’s hanging in there… Maybe you could go visit her? I imagine Aoi could use some help, if you know anything about first aid…
Yeah, that’s a good idea. Thanks, amigo!
…You’re not yelling?
Oh, I found my hearing aids.
Oh… oh! That’s good–
She’s gonna be okay, El Timeo!! We’ll fix ‘er up! I’ll pin ‘er down if I have to, wahahaha!!!
I guess she yells for fun after all… I hope Aoi doesn’t get cross with me for sending her after them. But if Gugalanna fights for a living, she probably knows more about injuries than most of us, right?
Well, if nothing else, she’s strong enough to keep Ishi from doing anything else stupid.