• 2 cups (8½ oz/ 240g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (3/8oz/ 12g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (1/4oz/ 8g) powdered milk (dried milk powder)
  • 1 teaspoons (4g) instant yeast
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1¾ cups (425ml) warm water

Julianni knew the recipe well. The dough itself was rather simple, after all, and she had made it often in her years of servitude. Whisk together the dried ingredients. Add the warm water slowly. Continue whisking vigorously until the loose and pourable batter is formed. Like pancakes.

It was in this process of preparation that she found her thoughts drifting.

For a week, she’d been in charge of handling I-RED matters. The Executor’s words were still quite prominent in her mind. “I’ll be gone on a business matter for a week. I trust you can handle things.”

It was no request.

Julianni had done what she could. Delegation, instruction, decision making- though most things were ran by the directors, the final decisions had come down to her. Each day, she felt shoulder bear more and more weight. How the Executor managed to handle it all was unknowing to her. She’d hardly had enough time to deal with diplomatic and financial duties than to lead the alliance.

Cover the bowl of dough. Let rise until slightly bubbly and has risen.

The woman went to work on the filling, tossing the hazelnuts, pine nuts, and golden raisins within the sugary butter she’d melted together previously.

Then, there was Utari. The worry she felt over his situation weighed on her as well. What decisions would he be making? Would he take the step to help himself? She was trying to support him, but there was only so much she could do. With the choices he’d made in the past and the choices he would have to make in the future, she certainly didn’t envy him. All she could do now was be there for him, even if there was a small part of her that felt frustrated. She had no right to feel that way, she’d told herself over and over. And so she buried that feeling deep within, an unintentional seed of doubt. Whether or not there would be darkened waters to nourish it was unknown.

Heat the oil. Stir the batter. Two tablespoons per cake. Let bubble, then set each one off to the side for filling later.

As if matters weren’t stressful enough, Julianni felt the overwhelming, oppressive sense of eyes watching her each time she’d gone to the market. Chills would run down her spine each time, trickling across her skin like a snake that was slowly wrapping itself around her body. She couldn’t tell what was worse: never being able to find who was watching, or that the watchful eyes knew exactly where she’d be. She’d played it smart, of course, changing up her schedule, routes, even skipping the city proper some days.

But the eyes always found her.

Add a heaping tablespoon of filling to each cake. Fold. Seal. Set aside.

With the knowledge of her home’s predecessor being a drug dealer, she knew that this could be more dangerous than normal. At the same time, what harm could they possibly do? She was a capsuleer. She could live and die, then do it all over again and again.

Her eyes began to drift to the pistol resting with her silken wrap. Could she do it? Would she really be able to take a life again? Julianni’s eyes furrowed. If she was in danger, she may possibly need to.

Drop each cake into the fry oil. Fry for two to four minutes per side or until deep golden brown. Dip in light glaze. Let rest. Garnish with coconut flakes. Serve.

No longer were the days she could remain passive. Not with her position, not with her home’s history, and not with her own history. She needed to change. Her next stage of metamorphosis.

Her fingers slipped around the pistol’s grip and she made her way outside for target practice.