The midday meal was delivered and it was larger than the normal thin soup and bread. There was bread, cheese and a thick stew with visible meat. And seasoned with salt! All the prisoners in Cell Q7 were pleased, but confused. They were the lowest of the low. Traitors with few skills the overlords could exploit the family members of
executed rebels. Mostly the five women cared for a hoard of children, who ranged in age from infant to a seventeen year old boy. Some were their own children, others were orphans, children or relatives of dissidents.
Supper, usually a piece of bread, was bread, cheese, and an apple.
Harlowe fell back on her cot and wondered what was going on. Their guards, surly, slovenly as they were, remained the same.
Breakfast was eggs and bread. Eggs, scrambled with butter and salt.
While it was great to feel full, to have more energy, Harlowe wondered what was going on. Two weeks after the expanded rations, the guards had them line up. "We are going to another facility where you will shower and change into more appropriate clothing."
The facility was a brightly lit military bunkhouse at the spaceport, the clothing was“Sit here quietly.” The guard shut them all into the bunkhouse and they whispered a bit and tried to keep the children calm.
skinsuits, thin knits like those worn on spaceflights under protective coveralls. A guard— female— had them shower and change into the two piece under suits with skirts and blouses over. The clothing was used, but in good repair, and clean. It was the first time in over a year Harlowe was completely clean, hair shampooed and everything.