“What did our family produce?” How come he never asked about that before?
“We had two orchards. One bore fruit during the dry season and the other
one during the humid season. The problems started in late twenty-three forties. The dry season orchard, with fop
, died. Even for the fop
it was too dry. My dad told me stories of how whole family helped to water the trees but it was never enough. Within two years the orchard was a cemetery of trees. The humid season orchard, with goplu
, was a bit luckier. It dried too, though, when I was a little girl. Humid seasons were not humid enough, the rain got bad, too toxic for delicate fruit trees, and all that combined killed the plants.”
“What is there now?”
“I don’t know. Probably nothing. Dad sold the land when he moved to Lakat to live with us. The new owners most likely destroyed the old house and build there a new one. Or something else. I don’t know.”
“Would you like to go there and see?”
She shook her head fervently. “No.”
Her resolve surprised him. “Why not?”
“Because I want to remember it how it used to be. As my home. I don’t want to know how unlike my home it is now.”
“I think I understand,” he said. He regretted her decision, as he hoped to see the place where she had grown up and where he—and his—family came from, but he respected it. He guessed that she didn’t want her memories be polluted by the reality and strange people who owned the land now. He knew that if he told her that he wished to see that former farm, she would go to show him, but he didn’t want to do anything that could hurt her. This trip was supposed to be a healing trip, not bringing-what’s-lost trip.
The tour—if one followed the directions in the guide-book—ended in a small juice bar, where they served fish juice right from the nearest juicery plant. The plant was supposed to be the direct descendant of the village and Demok had to admit that their fish juice was indeed delicious.
“What will we have for dinner?” he asked his mother, sipping the juice.
“I was thinking we could go to that salad bar again. There were a few more dishes I wanted to try.”
“Sounds good to me...” Demok’s eyes moved from her face to something that was materialising in front of her. “What? Again?!”
A small box appeared in front of her. It was wrapped in a silver paper and had a red bow. It was the third time that it happened and they both already knew what was inside and who beamed it in.
must be in the transporter range,” Jarol said, taking the box but not opening it. “I don’t think Assurian chocolate goes well with fish juice, so we’ll wait with consuming it.”
Demok loved the smile on her face. He remembered that the first time she had seen that mysterious box materialising in front of her, she was startled. After being bombed one could grow wary of strange objects, especially boxes appearing from nowhere. However, upon closer study of the box she saw a card written in Toral’s handwriting that read ‘The next step to grow fat,’ and it convinced her it wasn’t anything dangerous. Since then, each time Toral’s ship was close enough to Cardassia Prime, he beamed a box with one Assurian chocolate. A big one. Demok’s mother seemed to enjoy each next one more than the previous one and the sub-archon was sure it weren’t the chocolates that she liked and that brought a smile to her face.
They finished their juice.
“Ready to go?” she asked him.
He nodded and they headed back to Torav.