The latest edition to the Miami research station is a greenhouse. It’s bringing in a bit of fresh fruit and vegetables to the new Shatterdome.
Hermann likes it. It’s peaceful and green there, a sliver of Earth. And while this is his world, he lived on Earth for long enough to miss the green.
And there’s a bit more green than usual, today.
Hermann pads over, his feet sinking into the rich, damp earth, and looks at a squat, bushy plant sprouting in the corner. He runs his fingers over the long, feathered leaves. He has never seen it before in supermarkets.
“Newton?” he turns to where Newt is checking over the budding strawberries. “Newt, what is this?”
Newt looks up, sees what he’s looking at, and choke. “I- oh wow- who brought that in?” He walks over. “That is, um- and it’s totally legal, isn’t it? We don’t have drug laws.”
“This is a drug?” Hermann looks at the thing. It looks rather innocuous.
“Marijuana.” Newt chuckles. “I bet Tendo brought it in.”
“Oh.” He’d heard of it,. but hadn’t had a picture to go along with the name. “Is it dangerous?”
“Compared to Alison’s still? This is utterly harmless.” Newt pats the leave and frowns thoughtfully. “Do you want to try it?”
Hermann sniffs at it. It has a light, musty smell, nothing that warns him away. “Do you eat it?”
“You have to dry it first,” Newt starts stripping some of the leaves off. “Tendo can spare it. Then you can smoke it or bake it into things- brownies are classic.”
Hermann had tried smoking once. It had not be pleasant. “Baking sounds best.”
“Ta-da!” Newt comes on with a tray of brown cakes in one hand, and a tray of blackened burnt things in the other. “I let them go black for yours ‘cause I know you like burns stuff” He sits beside Hermann ont he bed.. “I haven’t done this since I was like- twenty. Do you mind if I smoke? It’s nicer than tobacco.”
“You can try. But I reserve the right to open a window if it bothers me.”
He tries a bite of the brownie- burntie, more like. It’s pleasantly crunchy, bitter, but has a strange aftertaste. Newt rolls a sort of cigarette with the dried, crumpled remains of the leaves, and lights up.
The smell isn’t bad. The taste is rather good. Given his experience with other humans drugs, this is a least not screaming that it’ll kill him.
Newt sags, grins. “Usually people put on stuff like The Room or Wizard of Oz or- some weird crap.”
“I have Cosmos,” Hermann leans over to switch on the laptop.
It’s pleasant enough, relaxing on the bed with Newt and Carl Sagan murmuring around them. The room is getting smokey and they’ve put the pets out, and Hermann is nibbling his way through his trays and it’s certainly enjoyable, but he isn’t sure what the drugs are adding to the experie-
It hits like a Jaeger punch.
One moment Hermann is sitting up, listening to Newt ramble, tthe next, he is flat on the bed, staring at a ceiling as the world revolves around him. he looks at the laptop and manages to pin that part of the room down- but the moment he’s looked away, the cieling joins the general revolution.
It doesn’t feel- bad. It does feel very strange.
“So, I’m thinking,” Newt continues, “What if we made a proper Kaiju documentary? As in, the full history of the Kaiju?”
He’d thought it was idiotic before, but now Hermann feels intriuged. “From the beginning?”
“As much as we can,” Newt continues, “But with a real focus on the whole liberation thing- all the broken Master citadels we’ve found- those are some amazing battles, dude.”
The reference to the Masters washes over him like a wave, leaves him untouched when so often it had made himn tremble. He tests it again. “Who would you get to play them?” His voice drags out endlessly in his wears, winds around him comfortably. “The Masters?”
“Sean Bean.” Newt says firmly. “’cause he dies in, like, everything.”
It’s not even that funny, but Hermann starts laughing. He cannot stop. It just feels so good, as if something was gently tickling him within his ribcage. “This-” he chokes. “Is good.”
“Glad you like it,” Newt grins. “I’ll make sure we get invited to Tendo’s parties.”