Recomar Effilldar, Supreme Leader of Chyspah, was eager to impress his fellow constellation leaders by providing meals and refreshments from Food Processing Units (FPUs) at the next Inter-Constellation conference, which he was hosting on his planet. Unveiling this new technology would ensure Chyspah maintained its reputation as the superpower in the Xelrod spiral constellation.
The FPUs were large, rectangular structures with an opening at the centre above a surface for holding serving trays. Many types of food from all over the galaxy were stored in tiny, dehydrated cubes. A control panel provided menu search options for nationalities, species’ dietary needs, flavours, and much more. Users selected their food from the menu panel, and it was reconstituted and distributed onto their serving trays.
Recomar was also proud of the manner in which he had acquired the FPUs. He was very impressed when he had first seen them six months earlier at a seminar hosted by the Intergalactic Support Group (ISG) on their home of Dokabor, a first-class planet in the Zaphor galaxy. Upon arrival, Recomar was appalled to discover that the ISG had based the seminar topics on ideas he had previously submitted to them regarding trade and nationalization — to which they had never responded.
Accompanied by his communication-droid, Recomar approached the ISG team privately and offered them a compromise. He expressed that he was willing to allow them to establish his ideas as their own in exchange for a number of FPUs. They all laughed at him, but he kept firm to his offer. Recomar then commanded his communication-droid to recall the messages he had sent to the ISG addressing these issues. The communation-droid voiced the secured transmitting code sent from the office of the Supreme Leader of Chyspah, the contents of the messages, and the confirmation reference code that returned from the ISG that acknowledged receipt of the messages. The ISG complied to his request.
Rccomar anticipated a barrage of criticism from other constellation members about caring only for himself, so he installed FPUs at schools and at shelters for the homeless and destitute.
Schoolchildren welcomed the FPUs. Some parents were amazed that their children actually ate food from the FPUs that they normally would not eat at home. A few weeks later, however, medi-droids reported a large number of children suffering from headaches, nausea, fatigue, and vomiting. The months that followed recorded significant weight gain in younger children. Widespread protest erupted from parents complaining that the food from the FPUs was bloating their children and making them sick.
Recomar launched an investigation and learned that the FPUs were stocked with food items from data analysis of the most common foods preferred by their users—which meant the children were choosing to eat only their favorite foods. He had the FPUs at schools restocked with only healthy meals. Desserts and snacks were limited to one serving per day. He then hired a specialist named Lupadan Eedabad to modify the food selection process from FPUs in schools so that the newly installed Chyspah Host Resource Information System (CHRIS) could cross-reference each student’s medical records to decline food that posed health risks to them, especially those with allergies and dietary restrictions.
As time went by, cooking was eventually phased out by most of the citizens on Chyspah, and the FPU became a household item.
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About The Time Manipulator’s Son, now available for pre-order from Something or Other Publishing: Powerful aliens hide on an asteroid floating above the planet Chyspah. Fearing for her child’s life, a widow breaks the laws of her people and makes contact with the leader of the planet. Her actions kick off a long series of strange occurrences and unexpected discoveries that lead three boys to solve their parents’ mysteries as they’re caught in the midst of the royal family’s fall from power. Daniel experiences bizarre episodes of time travel, while Anomar learns he was adopted—and that his real parents belong to a species of aliens with supernatural powers.
With the reluctant help of their timid friend Benardo, the boys dig deeper to find the truths hidden in their own lives. What they learn will change everything they thought they knew about themselves—and each other.
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About Rohini Singh: Rohini is an author of young adult science fiction from the small Caribbean island of Trinidad. Her debut book, The Time Manipulator’s Son, is available for pre-order from Something or Other Publishing now!