Cutter: Meals, Ready-to-Eat

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Operator Record
Meals, Ready-to-Eat
Cutter icon.png

Mercenaries are like MREs. Mercenaries only ever get to eat MREs.

Unlock conditions

  • Raise Cutter to Elite 2 Level 1.
  • Have at least 50% Trust with Cutter.
RI Operator icon.png
Logistics Operator
Bounty Hunter B icon.png
Mercenary A
Bounty Hunter A icon.png
Mercenary B
RI Cafeteria
RI Corridor
Wildlands Morning
Cutter is obsessed with learning how to cook. It seems to have something to do with a knot in her heart.
<Background black>
Some people say mercenaries are like MREs. Meals, ready-to-eat.
Can be eaten right out of the bag. Disposable. High efficiency, low risk. The best kind of field ration.
But if given a choice, practically everyone would choose to eat fresh, hot food. And practically no one would choose to risk their lives just to earn their next meal.
If given a choice.
<Background 1>
[Someone makes a dispatch.]
??? All units take note, the target has entered the alert range, and is expected to reach the defense point in one minute.
All units are to complete emergency preparations within thirty seconds. Repeat, all units are to complete emergency preparations within thirty seconds.
<Background 2>
[Cutter walks into the Rhodes Island cafeteria.]
Cutter Um, I'm here to see if you need any help?
Savage Oh, there you are, Cutter.
You're just in time to try my veggie flatbread, fresh from the oven!
Cutter Thanks, I think I will.
Mm... It's really good.
Savage Haha, I don't call it my specialty for nothing.
Why not take a few more for the road? Don't be shy now.
Cutter Uhh, I appreciate it, but I'm good. I'm just here to see if there's anything I can help you with.
Savage Ehh? I'm pretty much done cooking on my end. Maybe you can go check on Matterhorn though!
<Background fades out and in>
[Matterhorn sees Cutter.]
Matterhorn Oh, Cutter! Perfect timing. Here, try my Kjerag-style braised meat.
I substituted scalesaur meat because it's easier to get, and changed the seasonings accordingly. But I was just thinking I needed a taste-tester.
Cutter Mm, sure. I'll try some.
[Cutter took the braised meat from Matterhorn.]
Cutter (Chews)
Very good. I can't say much else about it... but it's very tasty.
Matterhorn Nothing to write home about then? Hmm... Looks like I'll have to work on the flavor to make it more distinctive.
Cutter No, that's not what I meant. I'm just not very good at... describing things. Believe me, Matterhorn, your cooking is top notch!
By the way, could you use any help?
Matterhorn Haha, I'm all squared away over here. All the dishes are already cooking, so all that's left is to turn off the heat later. Gummy might need help though, in a bit.
Actually, wait. There is something. I experimented with a few more new dishes today, and I'd like your opinion on all of them, if it's not too much trouble.
<Background fades out and in>
[Gummy calls Cutter.]
Gummy Cutter! Come try some of Gummy's fried pies!
Cutter I'm kind of full...
But do you need help with anything, Gummy?
Gummy I've already finished frying up my pies~
Cutter Then, I suppose I can try one.
Gummy Is it good?
Cutter I... think so?
[Cutter takes one of Gummy's pirozhki, but...]
Cutter Urgh... Can't take another bite...
I just wanted to lend a hand, but ended up getting treated to an early lunch and then some.
Well, at least everyone's been real good to me.
<Background fades out and in>
[Sideroca shows up.]
Sideroca I'm here to help!
Savage Oh, Sideroca, right on time. Two of our logistics operators took the day off, so the three of us are a bit short-staffed right now.
Matterhorn We might be able to manage if we all went full throttle, but I'd rather not burn ourselves out for no reason.
Gummy My arm's all sore...
Sideroca Well, your savior has arrived! Good work hanging on so long.
Oh, and I happened to see Cutter in the cafeteria just now. Had a real mopey look on her face. Any idea what's wrong with her?
Savage Right, you don't come by the kitchen a lot, so you might not know...
<Background fades out>
One month ago...
<Background fades in>
Cutter Good work everyone. Um... but is there anything I can help with?
Logistics Operator Ohh, you must be Cutter, the new arrival. Perfect timing–could you chop up those potatoes into chunks, if you don't mind? We'll be making soup soon.
Cutter Mm, got it.
[Cutter tries to cut the potatoes, but with such force that the cutting board is split in half as well.]
Logistics Operator Cutter! I asked you to chop the potatoes, not the cutting board!
Cutter I'm sorry!
It was an accident! I'll pay for it–
Logistics Operator No, it's fine, don't worry about it. I guess you're not very experienced with a kitchen knife? Just keep an eye on the pot then. Remember to stir it around with a ladle every now and then, so it doesn't burn.
Cutter Understood. I won't mess up this time!
Stir, stir... Don't let it burn, stir...
Stir, stir...
[Cutter stirs the pot too quickly that it starts to burn, which the R.I. logistics operator smells...]
Logistics Operator (Sniffs) What's that smell?
[...right as the pot catches fire, triggering a fire alarm that prompts Shaw to rush into the kitchen and extinguish the burning pot.]
<Background fades out and in>
Savage As much as it pains me to do this to her, as one of Rhodes Island's kitchen staff, I absolutely can't have a repeat of last time.
Gummy The lady in the logistics department even thought about adding a "Cutter is not allowed in here" sign next to the "Kay is not allowed" one...
Matterhorn I'd rather avoid unnecessary food waste, if possible.
Sideroca Oh, I see...
But I won't stand for it!
<Background 3>
[Sideroca catches up with Cutter.]
Sideroca Cutter! Get back here!
Cutter Huh? Sideroca?
Sideroca You're not allowed to throw in the towel, ever!
<Background 2>
Cutter It's for the best. I just mess things up for everyone else anyway.
Sideroca Don't worry about that. We've got plenty of time until dinner, so who cares if you make a few mistakes on the way?
Cutter Are you sure? I really appreciate it.
Sideroca Don't mention it. I just think that if you want to do something, you should see it through to the end.
So starting from today, I'm going to give you a crash course in cooking!
Relax. With me here, there won't be a repeat of last time.
Cutter I'll do my best, Sideroca
Thank you very much!
Sideroca I'm your instructor now, so let me hear a "yes, ma'am!"
Cutter Yes, ma'am!
Sideroca (Haha, so this is what it feels like to be an instructor.)
Ahem... Pop quiz! What do you think cooking is?
Cutter Making food fit to eat?
Sideroca Wrong! You couldn't be more wrong!
It's not as simple as making something edible. Remember this: cooking is the art of bringing out the characteristics of each ingredient to make something delicious!
Cutter I, I'll keep that in mind!
Sideroca From the looks of it, you don't even know the fundamentals. In which case, I'll have to start from the basics. Stand at attention and follow my orders!
Cutter Yes, ma'am!
Sideroca The first, most basic thing you need for any dish is knife work.
Listen up! First, raise your knife!
Cutter Um, with my left or right hand...?
Sideroca Well, with your dominant hand. Then hold the potato with your other hand, and run the knife along the contours and gently peel off its skin, like this...
Follow the contours... Gently... Oh, it flew across the room.
[Sideroca is surprised to see Cutter cannot even cut a potato properly.]
Sideroca How in the–
How can someone named "Cutter" be this bad with a blade?
Cutter Cutting vegetables feels completely different from cutting my enemies.
Sideroca I mean, I get you, but... the ingredients are not your enemies.
In any case, practice makes perfect, same as any skill. So let's keep practicing!
Cutter Y-Yes, ma'am!
<Background fades out and in>
Cutter You're amazing, ma'am. I never knew mashed potatoes could taste so good.
Sideroca Haha, we can't let perfectly good food go to waste, after all...
(After seeing so many potatoes gutted like that, I couldn't think of any other way to use them.)
See, cooking isn't so difficult. Once you've gotten the feel of handling a kitchen knife, you'll be peeling potatoes, no problem.
Cutter But then I almost burned a hole through the pot while waiting for it to heat up...
Sideroca You're still too tense, Cutter. Cooking isn't like swordsmanship. You can't expect to get it down just by mechanically imitating a teacher, like finishing an assignment.
It's about understanding your ingredients, and turning them into what you hope for.
Right! The most important thing is hope!
Cutter That makes perfect sense! Mm, I'll remember that.
Sideroca By the way, why do you want to cook so much?
You should already be able to find any kind of cuisine you like in the Rhodes Island cafeteria, right?
Cutter It's because... I've never had anything but MREs. So I want to know what it's like to eat something I made with my own hands.
Sideroca ?!
Cutter Well, maybe not "never," but I was following my master for as long as I can remember, and my master didn't know how to cook either.
Later on, after I became a mercenary, I had even fewer opportunities to sit down and enjoy a peaceful meal.
I was really curious about how food was made, so one time I slipped into a tavern's kitchen to go take a look. The owner thought I was a thief though, and ended up scolding me all night. Ahaha...
Sideroca Cutter!
Cutter Hwah! Yes, ma'am?!
Sideroca I swear, I'll teach you how to cook if it's the last thing I do!
Even if we have to sacrifice a dozen potatoes, no, a hundred, I swear I'll teach you!
Cutter Um, please calm down. That's all in the past now. And look, I survived and stayed healthy–
Sideroca Finish up your mashed potatoes, and we'll continue the training!
Cutter Y-Yes, ma'am!
<Background fades out and in>
Cutter I can't believe I ended up using the rest of the potatoes and she had to go look for more ingredients...
[Cutter's vision comes in and out.]
Cutter Getting kind of... sleepy...
No, no, I can't let her down now!
I just learned how to peel potatoes, so I can't afford to slack off already!
*Yawn*... But the afternoon sun is so comfy...
I can't keep my eyes open...
Maybe a little nap...
<Background 4>
??? Hey, wake up.
[A mercenary give Cutter a MRE.]
Mercenary A Here, this is yours.
Cutter Thanks.
Mercenary A Lucky you, you can fall asleep even at a time like this. But that's fine. There's still time before we head out, so conserve your strength while you can.
Hey, you over there. Catch.
[Another merc trips while trying to catch the MRE thrown by the first merc.]
Mercenary B Again with the canned food?
Mercenary A We're lucky we even have canned food. You got any idea what happens to mercs who lose their supplies out in the barrens?
You collapse on the ground out here, and scavenging Originium slugs think you're a carcass and start gnawing on your clothes from your legs up. You're still conscious by the time they get to your flesh.
Mercenary B Speaking of which, I'm sure in the mood for some coal-grilled sandworm legs. Preferably fresh.
Mercenary A *Columbian profanity* You wish.
Mercenary B Why can't we grill something anyway? I'd even settle for soup at this point.
Cutter No.
We're in the barrens, and there's no wind. Fire means smoke, which means anybody can spot us from miles away.
Might as well be broadcasting "there's a caravan here" to all the other mercenaries in the area.
We're escorting goods this time, so we can't afford to blow our position.
Mercenary B Ooh, the little girl's talking like a pro now. How many runs have you made at your age?
Cutter Too many to count.
Done pretty much everything except fraud and trafficking. I've probably been doing this longer than you, too.
Mercenary B You talk a big game. But how do you know when I got in the biz?
Cutter Your knife.
Mercenary B What?
Cutter It's one of the latest from Raythean, put out just last year. Brand new materials, and half the weight of the previous generation. No signs of wear and tear on your belt sheath either, so you can't have used other knives before.
Mercenary B Impressive. You sure know your stuff.
To tell you the truth, I'm only doing this because I lost my farm in a Catastrophe. Who the heck would take a job that puts a bounty on their head if they had any land to grow crops on?
Heh. Still, I might be the newbie here, but I've never screwed up a job.
If we bump into any bandits, I'll show you what I'm capable of.
Mercenary A Bah. Don't jinx us.
Mercenary B Can't you take a joke? We did a great job covering up our trail, and we only got our route just before setting off.
Cutter That's the best way to keep it secret.
Some employers prepare multiple route maps in advance and keep them sealed. Before departure, a middleman will randomly select one and hand it to the mercenaries.
Then we're allowed to refuse the job if the seal has been tampered with.
This avoids direct contact between the mercenaries and the employers, and also eliminates the risk of leaks. Our client kept things professional this time.
Mercenary B What a stand-up guy. Makes you wonder what the hell is in these boxes to be worth all this trouble.
Mercenary A We just drop off the goods at the destination, grab our money, and leave. Nothing else matters.
Mercenary B True. But when they're paying this much just to move 'em, they must be worth a pretty penny! Makes me feel like I'm in the big leagues now, hahaha!
Soon as I get my hands on that cash, I'm gonna find a good bar and drink myself silly.
A few more contracts like this, maybe I'll even head south, buy another plot of land, and open another brewery! Hahaha!
What about you guys? What are you gonna do with the money?
Mercenary A Can't say I share your optimism, so I'll need to find a weaponsmith for crossbow maintenance first.
Mercenary B How about you, girlie?
Cutter A new hairclip, probably.
Mercenary B Huh? What'd you say?
Cutter I lost my last one. My bangs sometimes fall down and block my vision, and it's a pain in the ass.
Mercenary B Ahahahahaha–
Mercenary A Bwahahaha...
Cutter What's so funny?
<Background black>
Mercenaries are like MREs.
The value and purpose of the food is never for it to decide.
And after the usable portions have been squeezed out, what remains is just excess waste.
Waste, to be tossed away in the barrens without a second thought.
<Background 5>
[Following an ambush...]
Cutter *cough* *cough*...
We're the only ones still alive...
Mercenary B ......
Cutter That attack was clearly premeditated.
I can't say for sure what happened, but someone must have deliberately exposed our position–
[The surviving merc approaches the crates they are protecting.]
Cutter What are you doing? Forget about the goods. We're already exposed, and there'll be more after us before long!
Mercenary B Out of my way!
Cutter We've already failed the mission! You need to head to the town up ahead and find a way to deal with your injuries–
Mercenary B Do you not see this chunk of Originium in my neck?! It's over for me!
I'm already dead! I just want to take a goddamn look at the shit I'm dying over!
Cutter There's no need for you to–
[The merc breaks open the crates, but...]
Mercenary B Hah... Haha... Hahahahahaha!
Empty. There's nothing inside!
We've been nothing more than goddamn bait from the very beginning! That money... was the price of our heads!
I'm such an idiot. How could I get caught up in other people's bullshit? As if being a mercenary can just endlessly shit out money.
Hahaha... But I suppose they're right about one thing. Die fast enough, and you won't have any need for money!
Damn it all! All you mercs can go to hell!
<Background 2>
??? Hey, Cutter? Wake up.
[Cutter wakes up.]
Cutter Ah! Sorry, how long was I asleep?
Sideroca Your training's been getting rough recently.
Still, it's been a month, and it's time to check on your progress. So chin up and show me what you've got!
You ready?
Cutter Mm... Mhm!
(Swallows nervously)
(Carefully lifts the lid of the pot)
[Cutter opens the cooking pot.]
Cutter I've finally... finished.
Sideroca Woooah, this looks pretty promising!
I knew you could do it, Cutter!
Cutter It's all thanks to you, Sideroca. I'd never have managed it alone.
Sideroca Who cares about that? Let me have a taste!
Cutter W-Wait!
Maybe I should try it myself first...
[Cutter takes a bite of the food she cooked.]
Cutter (Chews)
Sideroca How is it?
Cutter It seems...
Sideroca Seems what?
Cutter Not very good.
Sideroca Hm? Let me try.
[Sideroca takes a bite as well.]
Sideroca What are you talking about? It's great. You're too hard on yourself. I'd even believe it if you told me Matterhorn made it.
Cutter You're exaggerating...
Sideroca No, I'm not. How do I put this? This is definitely your own style of cooking!
I was dumbstruck when you said you'd make canned sandworm risotto at the end of our "class," but I never expected it to be this delicious!
The heavy seasoning from the canned worms was mellowed out by the rice, and the meat tasted much better after being re-cooked.
Damn, the mashed potatoes on the side cap things off perfectly too! I think this dish might even be worth a spot on the cafeteria menu!
Cutter I remembered what you said about "understanding the ingredients, and turning them into what I hope for." I kept thinking it over, and the only food I really understand is canned sandworms.
Sideroca That just proves you've mastered the art of cooking!
Cutter But I only know how to make one dish.
Sideroca Sure, for now, but it's an entirely new beginning for you!
Cutter Mm, I'll keep that in mind.
It's much more than trying to finish an assignment. It's about having hope... and creating something I want.