"What the hell is this?"
Maidie put the tray down on the table, smiling innocently.
"It's the Lord's blessed provision. Bread and water. Eat."
I tentatively put the slice into my mouth, chewing the dry cardboard-y thing unhappily. The somewhat strange-tasting water helped little to wash it down.
"Don't they have any real food here?"
"Oh, you mean some lab-grown beef served on a genetically altered bun, with a side of engineered potato product?" Maidie taunted.
"No can do, champ. Don't forget you have a part to play here too."
What was that supposed to mean? That I couldn't eat anything worth eating?!
"You're evil, know that?"
"And you're comedian of the year," Maidie replied, "Now eat up while you still can."
I made a face, annoyed.
"While I still can? Do you Verisat do nothing but threaten people?"
She looked quite amused.
"If you hadn't heard, some noblewoman is coming to pay us a visit. And apparently the Queen herself has extended an invitation to the palace tomorrow."
"What happened to making as little impact as possible?"
"We considered turning it down in some pious show of humbleness but refusing the Queen would probably raise some suspicions as to how authentic we really are."
"And get our heads chopped off?"
The sound of a clock chiming interrupted the conversation.
"Whaddaya know, my shift's over!" Maidie smiled, turning towards the door.
Her replacement came in soon afterwards. Mercy.