She fumed in her room, not trusting herself to behave if she saw him. She didn't care if he was stronger than three humans, how dare he insult her? Shalla tried to amass what she knew about Thawashi anatomy, so that she could make him suffer physically for his slight.
Dia Passik came with a slice of pie to their shared quarters, but wouldn't give it to her. She held it back as she asked, "What is your trouble, idiot?"
Shalla had gone without dinner in her fury and upon seeing the pie, she felt very hungry. Between her hunger and her roommate calling her an idiot, she couldn't keep it together anymore and exploded, "Huh?!? You've got to be kidding me, you heard what Runt called me! Everyone did!"
Dia looked puzzled. "No one in the squadron has any idea why you stomped off in a tizzy."
"He ... he called me a putah!" Shalla burst out in tears, forced to explain that the being she thought was her friend had called her a prostitute.
Dia's face registered shock for a moment ... and then she burst out laughing! "Oh ... oh no! You thought ... oh oh oh, I have to tell Tyria!" And she comm'd her squadmate to tell her what Shalla had said, and the dark-skinned woman was humiliated to hear Tyria laughing over the comm, too!
"Stop it! Why are you making fun of me!" Shalla was exhausted and confused and really really embarassed. What was so funny?? Why didn't they understand? I have feelings!
When Dia finally settled down, she held her ribs, "Girlfriend, that was the best laugh I've had in ages ... you have earned your slice of chocolate tarte!" And Dia was laughing again.
"Wha ...??" That's what Runt had called her! That's the slur he'd used that had infuriated her so!
Shalla saw the slice of pie still in Dia's clutches ... it was dark brown, and smelled divine ... it was made of chocolate, baked in a tarte shell ...
Her face burning with embarassment, she finally understood: when Runt yelled, "Chocolate Tarte!" when she entered the mess hall, he had not been directing a slur toward her and her dark brown skin ... he had merely been announcing what he'd made for dessert that night!
Oh, how am I EVER going to live this down?? Shalla contemplated as she ate the dark chocolate piece of tarte ...
Prepare the filling by putting the cream and milk into a microwave-proof container and heating on high till it's barely simmering. (You can do this on a stovetop, too. Watch the cream carefully in either case if it gets too hot, it can boil over very quickly.)
Place the chocolate in a large mixing bowl, and pour the hot cream over it. Let it sit for a minute, then stir to melt the chocolate and combine it with the cream. Use a whisk if it's not smooth enough. Add the vanilla, sugar, and salt and mix into the chocolate thoroughly. All the mixture to cool to room temperature.
Have the eggs at room temperature. If you forgot to take them out and they are cold, put them in a cup of hot tapwater for a few minutes. Break the eggs into a small container and whisk vigorously. Pour into the cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine very well.
Pour the chocolate into the two prepared pie shells, and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. The pie is done with the edges have set and look a bit dry and the middle is still jiggly. If the surface starts to crack, you've overcooked it ... watch it carefully, don't leave the oven alone!
Cool the pies on wire racks and cut into wedges it's helpful to use a knife dipped in hot water between slices. Serve with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
This tarte is very rich you can serve 8 conventional slices per tarte, or up to 12 narrower slices.
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