Disclaimers: This is my own original story and may not be reproduced in any fashion without my written consent, however, readers may print a copy for their personal enjoyment as long as title, author, disclaimers, and copyright remains on printed copy.
Content Warnings: The first of the Mother Earth series was basically PG but I’m afraid this one will be adult in nature. This is a f/f story with sexual content and a few four-letter words tossed in. If any of this would offend you please read something else.
Notes: You may wish to read And a Door Opened before beginning this story.
· * * *
Cierra grimaced as light painfully burned into her eyes and made them water. She groaned and slapped one hand over her eyes.
“Cierra? Are you okay? How do you feel?” JP said softly, too fast for the disoriented woman to grasp. The tall survivalist slid her arm under the drugged woman and helped her sit up.
The Jumper was still very fuzzy but could smell JP’s familiar scent. She leaned closer to her warmth and snuggled. She almost drifted back to sleep except that a hand caressed her cheek and JP spoke. She wasn’t sure what exactly but she tried to pry open her eyes.
“Hi,” her friend said with a gentle smile. “Feeling better?”
Cierra had to think about it for a while, but she was a little more aware now. Her head ached and her mouth was very dry. “Thirsty,” she croaked out. A canteen was brought to her lips and she drank the tepid water until she felt better. The container went away and a finger traced away a drop of moisture from the corner of her mouth.
“Do you remember what happened?” JP asked softly, seeing pain lines on her lover’s brow.
“The Feds found us at the tribal jump site. They darted you just before we jumped. One more second and we would have been caught. It was too damned close, Cierra.”
“Everyone got away, right?” the drugged woman asked only remembering bits and pieces.
“Yup, you did it Hon, everybody is safe.”
“How long was I out?”
“About an hour or so. We figured after lunch would be soon enough to get you saddle sore,” JP chuckled.
“Lunch and some aspirin sounds good right now.”
“Okay, you rest and we’ll scare something up for lunch.”
JP helped her lie back down on her sleeping bag. She placed a soft kiss on Cierra’s brow and left the tent.
The Jumper smiled as her eyes drifted shut. Sometimes it was nice being Queen.
· * * *
A short time later Cierra woke after the worst of the drug had worn off. She sniffed the air and felt her appetite return full force. She pushed aside her sleeping bag flap and crawled out of the tent. She was startled when she heard a dog whining. She looked up and saw a multi-colored dog sitting there, trembling as she exited the tent.
“Well, look what the cat dragged in,” Cyd teased as Cierra stood. The petite woman gave her friend a razzberry and sat down next to JP, who held her arm out in invitation to join her on the log. The dog followed right behind her and sat at her heels.
“Where’d the dog come from?” Cierra asked sleepily as she reached out and pet it.
“One of the wagons. The owner had chased after him all the way here but the dog refused to leave you. He’s been guarding your tent the entire time you’ve been sleeping,” Robbie told her. “His ex owner said his name is Elu,” she added. The dog settled next to her and licked her hand when she petted him. Apparently the dog claimed her as his own.
“Hungry?” Robbie asked, holding out a plate of corned beef hash and slices of bread. “It’s canned of course but beggars can’t be choosy,” the blonde reminded her. Cierra didn’t care. She picked up the fork and began eating rapidly, her empty stomach complaining loudly.
“Whoa! Slow down or you’re gonna get sick,” Robbie warned.
The Jumper took a deep breath and slowed down slightly, chewing her food better before swallowing. “Sorry, I’m starving.” She glanced at the dog that was licking his muzzle. Apparently he wanted some too. She scooped up a little onto a piece of bread and gave it to him.
“Just eat slow,” JP said as well. “I’m gonna have you ride with me and don’t want you tossing your cookies down my leg,” she teased.
Cierra snorted and almost choked on her food. She didn’t even attempt to reply she just shook her head and waved her hand in a way that said, don’t go there!
The others laughed and finished eating and letting the dog have the leftovers. It didn’t take long to clean up and Cyd and Robbie volunteered to break up camp. They wanted to leave before long and get a few miles in before nightfall.
· * * * *
The supplies were packed onto Cierra’s horse since she was riding double with JP. It really wasn’t necessary but neither of the women was against the idea. It was a good excuse to cuddle along the way.
JP positioned the horse next to the log so Cierra could use it as a stool to get on easier. The smaller woman had a death grip on JP’s arm as she slid behind her. Once settled behind her she wound in arms around the tall woman’s trim waist. With a grin she rested her cheek against one shoulder.
“Comfy?” JP asked indulgently. They might not be lovers at the moment but she had no doubts about their future as such.
“Yes. Thank you for asking,” Cierra answered pertly.
“Okay love birds, time to get moving,” Cyd announced, expertly heading her horse northeast. The others followed at the pace Cyd set, neither fast nor leisurely. Elu followed Cierra’s horse at a safe distance, accustomed to horses. The women didn’t want to exhaust the horses since they didn’t know the beasts’ backgrounds. They could have been nags intended for the glue factory for all they knew. Besides, no one knew the layout of the land and rushing forward could lead to trouble.
They road for nearly three hours when Robbie needed to stop. Mother Nature insisted she had to take a break and there were plenty of available bushes nearby.
“I need to go, she complained, then Cierra agreed it was a good idea. Both gasped with stiffness and disappeared into the nearby brush. Robbie must have finished first then realized a problem.
“Cyd? You bring any TP along?” she said from behind her screen.
“Yes, of course,” Cyd said, grinning widely as she grabbed a role from her saddlebag. She didn’t toss it though. She was gonna have some fun.
“Well? Toss it my way will ya?”
“And what will you give me for this precious commodity?”
“Um, I got 50 cents in my pocket,” Robbie offered.
“Money is useless here. Anything else?” she asked, winking at JP who was covering her mouth and trying not to let out a loud guffaw.
“Um, I’d offer my body but it’s claimed and I wanna live. How about I get the firewood tonight?”
“Cyd?” Cierra interrupted. “If you don’t want to be put in charge of the septic hole for a month you will toss it this way so both of us can finish,” Cierra said, doing her best to sound mean and tough.
JP lost it then. She was still wiping away tears from her eyes when Cierra came out from behind her bush.
Robbie grinned. “You still think becoming Queen is a bad career move?”
· * * * *
At the colony Jenny was going through the collection of books Cierra had gathered. There had to be something their ancestors did to keep the smell down from the outhouses. The sudden influx of people made the temporary buildings even worse. They had plans drawn up for a bathhouse and sewage system based on the ancient Roman cities but that was months away from completion. They had used their primitive survey equipment to plot the best layout but that was as far as they had gotten. Housing had become more important.
She flipped through another book and found a solution to the odor problem. She closed the book and headed for the communal kitchen. She found Sharon busy preparing for dinner.
“Sharon, do you have some extra buckets somewhere? I need to scrape out your fireplace ashes.”
“Um, yes, they have some over next to Cyd’s house by the wood box I believe. Why the sudden interest in ashes?”
“I’m going to keep a bucket of ashes in each outhouse. One of Cierra’s books said a cupful after each use down the hole will keep it from smelling bad.”
“Oh goody! When the wind shifts it gets pretty rank around here. I’ll help you,” the older woman offered as she removed her apron.
They collected bucket and a few tin cups then the ashes. They carried them to the collection of buildings and distributed them, passing the word how to use them as they went. The other women would also pass it on.
“Hope that works,” Sharon muttered. “But that is just one problem solved. We still have the manure from the dogs and goats and not to mention the pigs. We need a daily pooper scooper patrol. Those books give any other ideas?”
“Not really although I read that the Romans just had their sewage drain into the river.”
“And taint the water downstream?”
“It’s biodegradable actually.”
Sharon’s eyes widened. “And no one living nearby along the river. We planned on a few footbridges, why not build some outhouses over it instead? Send the stuff away?”
“Work crew,” Sharon said firmly.
· * * *
“Oh, you have got to be kidding,” Laura said to Kelly as she looked into the storage room. “Everyone will think you’ve lost your mind,” she added.
“No they won’t. I don’t know about you but with the loss of so many little luxuries I think people will love it. We can still use the galvanized ones for individuals but this we can use as a group.”
“And what about all the other big things we need to transport. Like Judy’s loom and Muriels’ pottery wheel?”
“Pile it all up inside. It won’t break.”
“Okay, if you say so. Well, I have more things to get and so do you. I’ll meet you back here on Tuesday.”
“Okay. And remember that if anything looks the littlest bit odd that morning, head for site 3. We don’t want anyone finding out where to wait for Cierra. She’ll take the supplies back with her and pick us up a day later.”
“Got it. I’ll see you then.”
* * * * *
The four riders stopped for the day along a small stream. Trees with plenty of brush near by protected the site.
JP helped Cierra ease her way to the ground. The small woman groaned as her legs straightened. “Oh God, I am crippled,” she moaned pitifully.
“Me too,” Robbie complained. Neither had ever ridden much before the trip. JP and Cyd had been experienced riders and weren’t as sore.
“Why don’t the two of you walk around a little and loosen up. The two of us can set up camp while you gather some firewood,” Cyd suggested.
“Okay,” the Jumper said weakly. She felt like she had been twisted into one giant knot. The pair slowly walked towards the clump of trees near the stream, carefully picking up branches from the ground.
“Hey, I see rabbit tracks—I think,” Robbie mentioned. She was a city girl and not sure what she was looking at.
“Don’t tell JP or she’ll go after them,” Cierra said, still squeamish about the idea of killing for food.
Robbie chuckled and began singing Elmer Fudds’s Kill da Wabbit song.
Kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit, kill da wabbit
Yo ho to oh! Yo ho to oh! Yo ho
Cierra moaned. “Just great. I am stuck on a long ride with a Bugs Bunny fan.”
“I like Tweety too,” Robbie smirked.
“You would. We had a huge debate in college one night over whether Tweety was male or female.”
“Male, definitely male,” the bodyguard said without hesitation. “A woman wouldn’t be as clueless of what was going on around her,” she said with a smirk.
“Then why didn’t that damned cat ever eat Tweety?” With that, they debated endlessly until Cyd asked them where the firewood was and why were they so damned loud. They grinned sheepishly and walked back to camp with their armload of sticks.
The argument had at least taken away their attention on their pain. As they dumped the wood into a pile they suddenly remembered how sore they actually were. They sat gingerly and groaned.
Continued in Part 2
Return to the Academy