The basic setup of the story world is there has been a global pandemic, still kind of nebulous but think rabies crossed with a zombie virus. The survivors have fallen back to several enclaves that are positioned to protect them and technology is a mix of some of the remaining modern tech as well as some steampunk or gear-punk type stuff as anything that can be used is being taken advantage of.
The story segment takes place on the sea born city of Atlantis.
Simone grinned as she was lead into the party, Jake introducing her to some of his friends present for the welcome back party. The were about to head to the buffet table when a young woman Jake’s age approached them. Jake’s smile broadened at the site of her, “Simone Gottlieb, may I present my best friend for as long as I can remember, Josefine Nørgaard. ‘Fine, this is Simone, she is part of the crew of the airship that brought me back from the flying city.”
Josefine extended her hand to Simone, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, thank you for returning this rascal to us mostly intact.”
“The pleasure’s mine, though a few times on the trip here it was a close thing. You would think he would learn not to try to open the exterior hatches when we are traveling several hundred meters in the air.”
“Simone! Did you have to mention that? It was only twice, the second time the markings on the door were faded so how was I to know?”
“That does seem like my Jake, anyway I believe you are headed over to the foods? I belive you will find a few things on the spread you may have not seen before, I understand that the amount exported to Laputa is quite small, which is just unfortunate for you all.”
As the walked over to the tables Simone replied, “Well that is one advantage of signing aboard an airship like the Phoenix, we get to see parts of the world that the city bound do not.”
The pair slowing worked their way along the table filling a plate. Jake grinned as the two of them seemed to completely forget he was there, piling an almost obscene amount of foods on his plate. Having spent the past year either traveling or on Laputa he had really missed some of the foods that were common here in Atlantis.
Simone, picked up a small curled sliver of a rich brown something, looking at it curiously
“Oh Simone, you simply must try that,” Josefine said.
“What is it? I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it before.”
“That would be chocolate, we trade with the El Dorado city ship in the south for it. I think it is made from the bean of some plant. It is simply wonderful.”
Simone popped the sliver of chocolate into her mouth, the taste as it melted on her tounge was like nothing she had ever experienced before. “oh, my. I don’t think I’ve tasted something that good before.”
“Isn’t it? That’s dark chocolate,” she hands her a lighter brown curl, “here this is the closest we can come to something called ‘Milk Chocolate’, they used to use cow’s milk to make it.”
“Why in the world would anyone use cow’s milk for anything?”
“This was before the plague set in, remember there were a lot of meats which we don’t use now because it may not be safe.”
“Oh, so the old books were talking about cow milk? I thought it was the same milk we drink now.”
Josefine smiled, “No the milk we have now is plant based, soybean mostly I think.”
Simone popped the milk chocolate into her mouth, “Oh that’s good too.”
“Both have their place, milk is a bit smoother.”
“Yeah I can see that, the dark is much richer. I think I like it better.”
“Me too, but there are some heathens that prefer milk.”
“Really? It’s almost too sweet.”
“I know. Look, they won’t have any here but after the party come back to my place and I’ll introduce you to hot chocolate. It’s a great thing for cold windy nights, we often drink it instead of coffee when we are on guard duty. The sugar helps keep your energy up and the caffeine is milder, so you can generally get to sleep when you want.”
“Sounds wonderful. I may have to pick up the stuff for that and some dark chocolate before we head back. Warm beverages for cold windy nights are in strong demand back home.”
“I’m really surprised that there isn’t an import trade for coca beans then.”
Simone shook her head, “Actually I think I know why, you said you get this from trading with the southern Atlantic city? Laputa and Dorado have not been on good terms for some time.”
“Really? I didn’t know that, ” she glanced across the room spotting someone. “come with me, lets talk to my uncle. He is on the city trade council, maybe we can get something set up.”
Ok, so from Anita’s post here are the dare elements.
This dare was a major boon for the story, it gave me an extra scene and a spot to have Jake introduce Simone and Josefine. Also some hopefully not too “info dump” background detail introduction, some of which will be useful later.