I guess the argument about cosmology did not end well after all. I was in the tavern, idly talking to Neelam about the reflective nature of my thoughts lately; how I was missing old friends. Mitternacht came in asking about her hymnal. I hadn’t seen anything and asked Neelam about it. The atmosphere turned decidedly frosty, and I got the distinct impression that there was no love lost between the two of them. Such comments as passed between them seemed heavily weighted with contempt, which seemed odd coming from a service robot.
Mitternacht then asked if we had any baked goods, which seemed an odd thing to ask us, as I have seen her before eating supplies from the bakery across the courtyard. Neelam checked the kitchen and declared it free of cakes and pies and such like. I then had an inspiration. I remembered a dish that we sometimes made when I was a student. We knew it as Poor Knights of Windsor, but I am sure it had many other names. Bread dipped in egg and milk, fried, then served with jam, cream and cinnamon. I may not be much of a cook, but I remembered making that on occasions when the cupboard was relatively bare and we couldn’t be bothered to eat out.
I offered to make something for Mitternacht, if she was willing to risk it. She claimed she was, provided that it was better than anything Star had made. I assumed this to be a reference to her late husband – the Star Chaser she had mentioned the previous evening. I made my way to the kitchen and busied myself preparing said dish. I was surprised how easily it all came back to me; especially given that we had mostly ended up eating it after an evening in a public house, so was almost certainly never made while sober. I wondered briefly what became of Ronnie and Gerald, my old student flat-mates.
I brought the dish down and presented it to Mitternacht, describing it briefly, so she knew what she was getting. She knew it at as “Peasant’s Bread” and tucked in with every sign of satisfaction, saying it reminded her of home. Aoibheann had turned up and she seemed less than impressed, at least with the dish, though she did seem amazed that I had done some cooking. I guess peasants didn’t eat such things where she came from. By this time, Neelam was getting excited about something and trying to hug Aoibheann. Last time she behaved like that, it was when Aoibheann gave her an advance on her pay so she could get the enhancements done. Maybe she had given her some more, so I look forward to seeing the latest version of Neelam next time she comes in.
There wasn’t much else left for me to do, so I left them to it. If there was going to be another argument on cosmology, I wanted no part of it.