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Warnings: This story contains adult themes with sexual content, strong language, and occasional violence. If you are a minor or if it is illegal for you to view this story then please refrain from doing so.
Future stories will be posted at my website after this one. I figure I'm forking over money for it I may as well use it. It's at http://www.sdfiction.0catch.com
Kelly reread what she had typed; looking for typos then uploaded the new page. Cierra had told her that the colony was getting resentful about so many families being considered first when the colony was originally meant to be lesbian. Cierra felt this next batch had to be single women in order to give other single women a chance to find romance.
The ambassador sighed and downloaded another batch of emails. Very few of them seemed to be genuine requests to immigrate to Mother Earth. The rest were a mixture of hate mail, letters from the crazy, scam artists, and religious fanatics. She had the email filter set to remove all emails with certain words in the subject line. It still left quite a few to read through.
Laura leaned over her shoulder and clicked her tongue. “Another person who is ignorant and full of hate. Why do you bother reading them?”
The younger woman shrugged. “Maybe because it reminds me why we began the colony in the first place. To get away from all of this.” Kelly closed the page and spun her chair so she could give Laura a kiss. “Yum. What a nice way to end the workday. Hey, let's go out tonight. I'm tired of gourmet dinners and feel like something different.”
“Sounds fine to me, as long as it isn't one of those greasy burger places. How about trying a soup and salad bar? I miss Sharon's cooking.”
“Me too. I'll check the phone directory and see what's available. You let one of the drivers know we need a sedan tonight. I don't want to ride around in the limo.”
“Well, damn. I was looking forward to arriving at some cheap buffet in a stretch limo,” the older woman teased.
“Ha ha.” Kelly swatted her lover on the bottom playfully. “Now go find that driver while I get my wallet.”
“Sheesh. I had to find myself a bossy girlfriend. Well, at least you're cute.” Laura gave Kelly a kiss on the brow and left the room.
Cierra and the council sat at the table with Warren bailey. He was shoveling down his meal while telling the group about what they found in South Africa. He had brought along photographs and notes from the scientists.
Jenny shook her head. “This is just so bizarre,” she muttered while reading over the notations and suggested theories. “So these primitives are equivalent to the humanoids that came after the Cro-Magnon?”
Warren shrugged. “Don't ask me, I'm a Coastie. The Captain said the scientists wanted to talk with you before you take us back to Earth.”
Cyd groaned and allowed her forehead to thump lightly against the tabletop. “Now even more people will want to come here,” she whined.
Jenny was the practical one. “Doesn't matter how many want to come here. Cierra will only move so many, once a week. If they want to get here bad enough they can wait.”
The others agreed. They tolerated the others because they kept to themselves on the most part. The only one who visited the community often was Mary Webb but she was practically one of them and dating Sara. Jenny suspected that if the military attempted to station Mary anywhere but Mother Earth then she'd resign her commission and migrate.
“We'll find out more once we reach the Bay Otter Clan,” Cierra told everyone. “We'll leave in two days. That'll give Warren and Chase time to rest after their ride and we can pack for the trip. It'll probably take three days to get there since we're taking a wagon.”
The BOC already knew that they had to repay the Napa Clan for sending supplies to the Sky Dancer Clan after boys from their clan stole food from them. They had just sent a rider to the coast when the Asimov had arrived. The clan had sent a message along with Chase, apologizing for the boys' actions and promising to have supplies ready for them when they arrived.
Warren thanked them for the meal and excused himself. He needed to head for the embassy to deliver a message to Ambassador King. In the meantime, the two-man tent would be set up for the newest visitors since the five young men from BOC were occupying the visitor's quarters in the mixed long house.
At least the weather was getting warmer.
Cierra sighed. With the warm weather would come the scientists and construction workers. The queen loved her new home but the summers tended to be hectic. They were already spreading the compost on the fields and preparing for spring planting. Then they had to gather materials for building the new family quad units before the construction could begin. Then they had the May trading event just after planting. God, just thinking about it made her tired. Cierra picked up Kiona from her wife's arms.
“Come on, sweetheart. Your mommy needs a nap.” She sent JP a wink, letting her know she was more than welcomed to join them. JP grinned and stood up.
“Me too. See you all at dinner.”
Cierra knew she was a funny sight but she wasn't about to have Kiona get sunburned at her tender age. She had rigged an umbrella to a harness so the sun wouldn't shine directly on the two-month-old. The baby girl was singularly unimpressed, napping most of the trip. She seemed to be taking the ride well and rarely fussed. The young mother even learned to breast feed while she was riding, much to JP's amusement.
Warren blushed the first time she fed Kiona. Chase didn't even blink since he had grown accustomed to it in his own clan. The other people going with her to the coast were JP, Robbie, Carey, and Maggie McDaniels. The four women took turns riding the wagon since it wasn't a pleasant way to travel. It jarred their teeth and left them aching all over if they stayed on it too long.
They stopped for the night, glad to be past the valley's hills. The next two days would be mostly level or downhill. They brought along two tents for the women but the men opted to sleep outdoors. They had a lightweight tent if the weather got wet.
Cierra took the soiled cloth diapers downstream and washed them then draped them over bushes to dry overnight. The mother had to admit that disposable diapers were one luxury she wished they had from the Old World. She wiped her hands on her jeans and sat down next to JP, who was holding the sleeping infant.
“She likes traveling and camping,” JP whispered. “She's hardly fussed at all.”
“I just hope she doesn't decide she hates tents in the middle of the night.”
“It would be our luck, wouldn't it?”
“No need to jinx us,” Carey said softly as she handed out plates to everyone. She wasn't a great cook like Sharon but she could heat a mean pot of beans and roast a rabbit over the fire.
Maggie unscrewed a jar of homemade ketchup and spooned some onto her beans. She passed the jar around and they dug in, eating quietly as they listened to the sounds of the night and the snapping of the campfire.
“What's for breakfast tomorrow?” JP teased.
Carey never looked up from her plate. “Beans and rabbit,” she deadpanned.
JP tossed a stick at her friend.
“No sense of humor. Don't worry. Sharon packed a bunch of eggs and sausage in snow from the cistern. There's some buckwheat buns in the oil skin too.”
“That's something at least. Hey, Chase, what do you all eat for breakfast in your clan?”
The man hid a smile and took a page from Carey's book. “Fish.”
The smell of the ocean told the riders that they were nearing the coast.
Maggie took a deep breath. “God, I love the smell of the ocean.”
Carey grinned. “Me too.”
“Not gonna abandon us and join the BOC just cuz of the smell, are you?” JP teased.
Carey snorted. “No way. I love the smell of the coast but I sure as hell don't want to eat anything out of it. Especially lobsters and crabs. They look like alien insects.” The survivalist shuddered in revulsion.
Chase laughed. We eat a lot of both. Don't worry. I bet the elders slaughter a pig and we will have a luau. We have gardens too so you aren't going to eat nothing but seafood.”
Cyd perked up, always looking for new crops to grow. “What do you raise?”
“Well, let's see…sweet potatoes, corn, carrots, lettuce, cabbages, onions, squash, beans, and sweet peas mostly. We forage in late summer for other foods then again in fall. Just before mating season we travel inland and hunt for deer.”
“How do you keep the food cold?”
“We dug down deep and made a root cellar. Most of the meat we smoke or dry. Shredded deer meat that's dried out works good in stews.”
Cyd shook her head. It never got cold enough to stop them from hunting although they didn't bother killing deer in late winter. Left over meat was either thrown in Sharon's perpetual soup pot or dried for jerky.
“I don't know about you all,” Warren said, “But I am damned tired of seafood, coconuts, breadfruit, and bananas. When we get home I'm going to find the closest greasy spoon and order me a huge trucker breakfast with tons of hash browns and bacon.”
Carey laughed. “I wouldn't if I were you. When we visited Connecticut to send you off we felt like we ate Mexican jumping beans. We got used to eating healthy and our systems couldn't handle the fat and sugars.”
“That's what antacids are for,” Warren grumbled.
The women shook their heads. Who wanted to take drugs all the time? Now that their lifestyle was so much healthier they never felt better. None of them wanted to go back to the old ways. Most of the medicines that the doctors made were for the skin injuries. Oh, they also gathered plants they needed for mild painkillers and such but people rarely asked for them. Carey couldn't remember the last time she had a headache.
By late afternoon they rode into the Bay Otter village. People gathered around them, always happy to see new faces.
Chase greeted his wife and children and they left the group to return home.
An older man, in his late fifties, approached the women. “Hi, I'm Charles Nuka, the village leader, at least for now. Listen, I'm sorry about the trouble with the kids. I know it's no excuse but those kids were all over seventeen and weren't happy here. We figured they'd head for your community and ask for a ride back.”
Cierra shook her head. She didn't want to discuss this outside and she was tired. “Well, you already know my views since I wrote you a letter. Once we are repaid I'll consider it square on our part.” Cierra grabbed a saddlebag and changed the subject. “Is there a place for us to stay or should we set up tents?”
“One of the families has spare rooms in their house. They agreed to have you as their guests while you're here. I'll take you there.” Charles had heard the disapproving tone in the queen's voice. He knew he screwed up royally on this and would probably be asked to step aside for a new leader when this was over. His only excuse was that he had no children of his own and had been at a loss what to do with them. He had ignored the elder's advice. Dason had told him he was a fool and hadn't spoken to him since.
Charles led the women to Molly's house and knocked on the door. The tiny woman opened the door and greeted the women warmly. Her hair was turning gray but her eyes sparkled like a girl's. “Come in, come in. Don't be shy.”
The petite woman looked them over. “I bet you're tired and hungry. Why don't you take a load off and I'll bring you something to eat.”
The women smiled gratefully. Molly led them to the family area of the house and she pointed to some bags that resembled beanbag chairs. JP sat on one and examined it. It was a leather bag and it seemed to be filled with sweet grasses and herbs. It wasn't as moldable as a beanbag chair but it was comfortable. It also smelt nice. “Ahhh, wake me when the food is ready,” she joked, closing her eyes.
Cierra grinned and removed Kiona from the baby pack. The infant was soundly asleep and she placed her on JP's chest. The slim woman placed a protective hand on the baby and kept her eyes closed. Cierra knew JP would crash in minutes with a sleeping baby on her.
Molly brought over clay cups filled with chilled water and a large bowl of popped corn and a bowl of dried fruit.
“Here, this will tide you over until I finish cooking dinner.”
The women thanked her and sat down. “If you ladies need to go to the bathroom we have outhouses up the hill,” Molly pointed.
“Sounds like a good idea,” Maggie said, excusing herself.
The others took seats and munched on the snacks and relaxed. Cierra really wanted a bath and wondered if the house had a tub and asked Molly.
“Already a step ahead of you, dear.” Molly pointed at several kettles near the fireplace.
“You are an angel,” Cierra grinned.
“My husband might disagree with you,” the woman cackled.
“Where is he?” Robbie asked.
Molly assumed a bland expression. “Oh, over in that box. We had a disagreement and he fell over dead. I had them cremate him so I could say 'I told ya so' as often as I liked.”
The three women stared at her then each other. Was the woman a little nuts? Cierra placed her hand on the box in question then laughed. “The box is full of pipe tobacco, Molly.”
“Oh, then I wonder what I did with Frank?” the woman muttered loudly then laughed. “Ok, fine. He's out with the fishing boat and won't be home for another hour or so. But you got to admit I had you going.”
“No wonder you thought being called an angel was funny,” Robbie grinned.
“That's right. I'm a hellion and Momma was so happy I fooled a fella into marrying me before he found out.”
To be continued
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