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“You are now a Domestic servant in my household. You will serve my family. You will cook and do light cleaning. You and Kina will split the daily chores. The two of you are not to have any conversations with any member of the family. Is that understood?”

Deanna narrowed her eyes at Moset. She wasn’t sure she liked this arrangement. But at least it was better than sharing a room with 18 other people.

“As clear as crystal.”

Moset’s eyes darkened, but he said nothing in regards to her remark. Leading her down a thick carpeted hallway, he pretended to wipe the dust from the wall.

“This will be your living quarters. Kina will share them with you. I’ve only provided one bed. So you will have to decide whom sleeps there and whom sleeps on the floor. Once you’ve settled in here, I want you to report to the kitchen in 15 minutes.”

Then Moset departed the room, leaving Deanna to process her new situation that was forming in front of her. Lily’s kicking brought her back to reality.

“What have we gotten into this time sweetheart?”

Kina entered their small living quarters with what little belongings she had.

“I’ll sleep on the floor, you can take the bed.”

Troi cast a glance at the plain green dress that Moset placed on the bed for her.

“We should get dressed. Moset wants us down in the kitchen in 15 minutes.”

Kina harrumphed and went into the small bathroom on the side of the bedroom.

“Moset walks around as if he owns this house. I knew the mother and five children who used to live in this house before he kicked them out.”

Deanna listened to Kina speak as she slipped the dress on over her head.

“How can one man have so much power?”

Kina exited the tiny bathroom and tugged at the collar of the plain green dress she was wearing.

“He is the most respected Exo-biologist on Cardassia. He also has delivered over 10,000 Cardassian children.”

Deanna swallowed, but didn’t let her fear show. The two hurried out of their living quarters and down the hallway towards the kitchen. Once they reached the kitchen, they saw it was decadent. Troi noticed that they had real hardwood flooring. Moset stood in the center of the opulent kitchen with his arms crossed.

“Ok, here’s what you will be making for my family for our night time meal. This refrigeration unit holds four creatures we call Daarlonzon. Similar to what you find in Earth’s oceans. What you might call Lobster my dear Counselor.”

Troi’s eyes widened.

“Sir, I’m deathly allergic to Lobster. I cannot even touch it. May we be allowed to prepare something else?”

Moset shook his head at Deanna.

“Tsk tsk. I will not deny my two beautiful daughter’s the chance for a rare Daarlonzon now would I? They’ve been bugging me about it for weeks.”

Deanna sighed, but put on the gloves Moset tossed to her.

“These will protect you from the secretions that Daarlonzon’s tend to leave behind when being prepared. Cardassian’s have a natural immunity to these secretions of course. Interestingly enough, Bajorans too have an immunity to it. I’ll leave the two of you to your work.”

Troi cast Kina a nervous look as she pressed the control panel to open the refrigeration unit.

“I don’t know about Daarlonzon, but I could not be around any Earth Lobster without having an anaphylactic reaction to it. Even breathing its scent, sent me to the hospital on Betazed. My husband has to pay special attention to what kind of fish he eats. I’m allergic to a fish on Earth they call Salmon. Much to my husband’s disappointment.”

Kina placed something over Troi’s face.

“Here, this will filter out the scent of the Daarlonzon. It will help protect your airway and keep it open and functioning.”

Deanna nodded and opened up the refrigeration unit. The Daarlonzon was much bigger than an ordinary Lobster back on Earth. But they were green instead of a deep red. That was the only difference. She placed the crustacean into the pot of boiling water. She was glad for once that Kina couldn’t see her disgusted look on her face.

“Thank-you for all you’ve done for me Kina. I appreciate the lengths you’ve gone to help me stay alive in this place.”

It was forty minutes before Kina and Deanna were finished cooking the four Daarlonzon. Kina crinkled up her face which Deanna could only assume was the smell of the sea creature.

“I may have a natural immunity to Daarlonzon, but the smell is barely palatable.”

Deanna had to smile at Kina. She held everything together so nicely. The two of them together made their way into the dining room with two plates of Daarlonzon in each hand. A set of twins sat on the right side of the table, while Moset and his wife sat on each end, respectively. The smaller of the two twins spoke.

“Oh! Is that Daarlonzon for me?”

Moset gave the child a stern look.

“Alarica, what did I say about manners?”

Alarica momentarily bowed her head.

“Sorry daddy. May I have that Daarlonzon please?”

Deanna had been holding the smallest Daarlonzon, so she placed it in front of Alarica on the table. As Deanna set the other plate on the table next to Alarica, she heard her sister speak up as she left the dining room.

“Daddy? Why does that woman have a mask and gloves on?”

Troi didn’t hear the rest, she was back in the kitchen. She took the gloves from her hands. They felt like they were burning. The smell was what hit her like a ton of bricks.

She hadn’t thought through clearly enough to leave the mask on until they returned to their living quarters. She tried to call out for help, but her voice barely squeaked. Her throat was closing so quickly, that she wasn’t getting enough oxygen to her lungs.

Before she knew what was happening, she was on the kitchen floor, gasping to breath. By the time Kina had returned to the kitchen, she could barely see her.

“Deanna, what happened?”

She couldn’t answer Kina. Her eye sight was going white now. Troi didn’t know which pain was worse, her throat closing or the pain ripping across her abdomen. One thing for sure was, she was in trouble.

To Be Continued…

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