Harmony Chapter 7: The banquet

Filed: Harmony @ 6:04am on November 30, 2010 No comments yet! :(   Word Count: 1,010
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This entry is part 7 of 28 in the series Harmony

City Hall was just another one of the big anonymous buildings placed at the end of the streets.

It wasn’t even labelled or decorated. No flags or flowers announced it.

It was there and everyone knew it was there and it didn’t seem to bother anyone that it looked almost identical to the school and the dormitory.

The inside was radically different but it looked as if the designers of these massive buildings had one massive plan for the external walls and floors but left the interior construction to individual teams.

City Hall despite it’s name didn’t look like typical city halls on Earth. Most of the ground floor was composed of rows alternating between long rectangular tables with seats on both sides and buffet stations to pick up food to eat. This means that the person sitting in front of me wouldn’t pick up his own food from the same buffet stations as I would.

I also noticed that women, all nude, were seated on one side of the tables while men faced them. The sides were alternating so that half of the buffet stations catered only to women while the remainder only catered to men.

Puzzled, I discovered that meat and main meals were only present on the male buffet stations while side meals like vegetables and desserts were only present on the female buffet stations.

Unaware of the customs of the town, I just looked around to discover that instead of being discriminatory, the men and women of the town cooperated with each other.

Being outnumbered, the men prepared communal plates with various meat to place on the center of the table while the women prepared the side dishes not only for them and the children but for the men busy with cutting and preparing the meat.

It was an elegant ballet of friendship which clearly seemed to have more complex rules than I could ascertain at a first glance.

A sexy thin brunette barely older than I was came to welcome me, presenting herself as being called Tiffany.

“Hello Harmony. The elder suggested you should eat with us. I am an apple picker and my man, Mark, is a solar panel repairman, both very noble shares.

We are a young family and would gladly welcome you until you choose you own family.”

“Thank you Tiffany. I am a bit overwhelmed by all of your customs so a little guidance would be helpful.”

“I already prepared your plate, come eat !”

I sat next to Tiffany who was seated in front of Mark, her boyfriend.

Near us where two other women I had the pleasure of meeting, Cassiopeia an apple picked who sat next to Tiffany and Penelope a cow girl who sat next to me.

Cassiopeia was in her mid-twenties and spoke little during the meal but Penelope kept talking about how exciting it was to tender to cows who both produce milk used to drink and make fine cheese and fine meat she insisted I taste.

I’d would love to admit I was pleasant and joyful but I honestly had my mouth full for most of the meal.

On the ship, even in first class the food tasted preserved and artificial. At the banquet, everything tasted fresh and I frequently discovered new flavors in certain ingredients I had neglected all my life.

Sure, the food was clearly organic and rustic in nature but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

There was plenty of delicious whole rice, crunchy handpicked vegetables, juicy chicken breasts and tender roast beef to re-energize me.

Dessert was a little blander with mostly fruits and ice cream but there was a few rather crude pastries.

Even thought I didn’t talk a lot I never stopped listening.

Mark mentioned with interest a bank of solar panels which were broken by a small earthquake and was excited that he would get to work on repairs for a few weeks.

Cassiopeia had little to report as apple picking was a pretty stable job. I got the impression that she had her own set of fields to take care of and didn’t have much company during the day.

Penelope who had short red hair and small breasts, kept talking about the men and women she worked with and the various cows and bulls she took care of. She announced she helped deliver a calf that same morning which is why she missed my arrival.

Tiffany, a blonde with very long curly hair, mostly spoke about Alexandra, one of her wheat farming colleagues and how the two of them really got along. I got the distinct impression that all of the other girls rolled their eyes each time Alexandra was mentioned but couldn’t understand why. I guess I had to be there.

Even thought it was called a banquet, I had the feeling it was pretty much routine for the town folks.

Nobody made a speech and almost no food was spoiled.

Whenever a station was empty, food was re-distributed from other stations to prevent food spoilage.

Almost everyone ate a lot but I couldn’t see a single fat person in the room, making me think that they probably either work hard and long or eat a lot less on the first two meals of the day.

After supper, I realized that the sun had set outside and I was invited by Tiffany to join her at their house for the rest of the evening. I quickly realized that the three girls were roommates with Mark and that it wasn’t luck which paired them together. Did this mean that polygamy was common on Sigma 8? The five of us walked on the street while Tiffany explained that Mark managed to grab house number 34.

Not only was it one of the closest houses to the center of the town but that it was on City Hall street, a desirable position. It was a front row house which was even more prestigious.

All I knew was that we had to walk all the way to the other end of the street while I realized that there wasn’t enough lamp posts to properly light our path. We stopped on front of cabin #34. I would see how those little houses would look like from the inside.

Series Navigation«Harmony Chapter 6: The cityHarmony Chapter 8: Going to bed»

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