Man Lokxo: Welcome back to The Flavor Strikes Back, the only cooking show in the Star Confederation that pits a variety of alien cuisines and chefs head to head as they scramble to complete dishes that can please the biomechanical Foodminds! Coming to you live from Sol I, Mercury, the hottest planet with the highest iron content in its core, let’s meet today’s contestants!

Chef Zhao: As the only human here, I’m adaptive. I can overcome. Thanks to my digestive system and environmental tolerances, I can cook dishes that would poison or corrode most of my competitors and some of the judges. That means I can also take them right to the edge of the Flavor Neutral Zone. If I win, I’m going to make my dream of a creator-owned restaurant called Zhao’s Zingers come true.

Foodlord Hyvew: I grew up in a big Vatna family, and we were always cooking and eating. Vatna cuisine is in my blood, you know? I still remember Grandma Hurq honey-roasting one of our enemies for the whole clan, and I’m gonna do right by her and make the family proud. If I win, I’m going to use the prize money to buy a F7-class food cruiser to help conquer the gastropub in the local cluster.

Ajn the Preparer: Growing up, I didn’t have a family. I had to work my way up from the bottom, making gourmet meals from the carcasses of Fulvan Space Rats at the spaceport. That gives me the grit and gumption I need to make these spoiled brats drink vacuum. When–not if–I win, I’m going to open a culinary school for unhived Fulvans to learn their trade and give them a leg up.

Mealmaster J’kioay: I studied under the legendary Mealmistress Parog, and she taught me everything she knew, except for the legendary Black Hole Dish, which I had to figure out for myself. And since I used it to kill Parog and seize control of her culinary empire, it stands to reason that no one else here has the knowhow needed to defeat me. It is nobody’s business what I will do with my winnings; that is not for them to know.

01111001-01110101-01101101: As my great-grandsire used to say, 01000110-01010101. I have the entire culinary memory of my people to draw on, from Nutrient Slurry 1A to Nutrient Slurry 997281X. When I emerge triumphant, I will add the prize money to the Great Bank in exchange for upgrades to my Cooking Unit.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!