“How was the trip?” Bronwyn asked as he sat down with his tray across from me in the commissary.
“Not bad,” I said around a mouthful of scrambled eggs. “We made good time.” This was the second time running into Bronwyn in the mess hall. “And yours?”
“No snags. I sometimes wish I had a larger ship. If I had one like yours I would have made this set up in a couple of trips. As it is I will end up doing more than a dozen.” Bronwyn’s assignment along with others was to help transport the medical supplies to establish a hospital for the crew that would be working on the terra firma project.
“But, a job this size doesn’t come along often,” I said. “And usually you need the speed of your smaller ship to make those deliveries a larger one like Ma-rye-a can’t.”
“Ya, you’re right.” He took a sip of his pitch and made a face. “They sure feed you good here, but their pitch could use some work. You could float a spoon in it.” He set the mug down and took a bite of his malfit bits instead.
“That’s the reason I drink tea. You can make it any strength you want. You can even carry your own blend.” I pulled my flat tin of loose tea from my pocket which I always carried to the mess. “Want to try some?”
“Sure.” Bronwyn took his mug of pitch and poured it down the drain at the end of the clean up bar. He stepped to the drink station and filled up with hot water.
I emptied my filter bag of my used tea on the edge of my tray, than refilled it with fresh leaves. “Let it seep for 2 minutes, any longer and this one gets a bit of a bite.
He popped the bag in the mug. “Smells good,” he said in satisfaction as he took a whiff over the rim of his mug. “What kind is it?”
“This one is from my last trip to Valaria. I bought it from a street merchant. He said he blended them himself. I am going to have to look him up again. I really like it. Has a nice fruity flavor without being an herbal. I don’t care for herbals. I like a nice black tea.”
Bronwyn took the bag out and raised the mug.
“Wait,” I cautioned. “Put a pinch of this in it.” I handed over my pouch of Flolate.
“More tea?” Bronwyn asked as he peered into the bag.
“Nope, a sweetener from a plant on Rigil Three, and its properties not only sweeten, but also make the tea leaves sink to the bottom,” I explained
“So I won’t go around smiling at ladies with specks between my teeth.” Bronwyn smiled as he dropped a pinch in his tea. He did have a nice smile. He stirred. The Flolate dissolved and the tea leaves sank to the bottom of his mug. He took a sip. His eyes closed in contentment and he said, “I am going to sit with your every day from now on.”
“I’ll remember to bring more tea,” I said with my own smile. I have indoctrinated another into the world of tea.