A few weeks passed. Ann was beginning to understand the appeal of living this life style. In spite of worrying about various things such as being discovered or being hit on she was actually looking forward to each day. Her sore muscles were easing and she felt a new strength that wasn’t attributed to working out in any gym.
Spending her days building gave her a sense of accomplishment. She recalled the other day when the last cog had been set in place and the mechanic had finally pulled the lever that allowed the water wheel to turn. Everyone had cheered and she had felt like a part of the community, cheering along side of them. Then she remembered why she was there and felt the elation fade.
Now she was one of the crew assigned to help plant the field of corn. The spring sun was hot but she didn’t mind. The job didn’t require much thought and her mind was free to wander.
Another woman was keeping step with her in the next row, Jessie, a woman whose parents had been from the Middle East. They hadn’t been very understanding of their daughter being lesbian and had cut off ties with her even before she had joined the group. The dark-haired woman smiled bashfully at Ann, who realized the young woman liked her and Ann actually blushed. She hadn’t done that in years.
Ann looked away hoping it didn’t come to the point where she would have to reject the shy young woman. Jessie was a nice girl and she would hate to hurt her feelings. Then she wondered where that came from. She was worried about hurting a dyke’s feelings? When did that happen? Maybe she had been here too long. It was messing with her mind.
Or was it? She let her head muse over it for a while. She had to admit that since Carmen was kicked out she hadn’t felt preyed upon at all. She could almost forget that the women here were gay except for the occasional kiss she witnessed. It was like working for an all-woman crew that was straight except that they didn’t talk about men.
Hell, they didn’t even talk about women in a disrespectful way. There weren’t hardly even any sex jokes. That didn’t seemed normal. Wouldn’t a group of dykes make comments about other women? Joke about wanting to get them in the sack? Everyone knew lesbians were just like men except they had no balls and men were dogs. Ann rammed a corn seed into the ground. Who was she kidding? Most of the women here were damned nice. Admit it, you actually like the dykes that live here and that is making you shake in your boots Ann.
She told her inner self to shut up, it thought too much. She had a job to do and she had better get on with it. All she needed was an opportunity to nab the shaman and get her back to the real world. It was a matter of time before she would catch them off their guard.
The opportunity came within a few days. Cierra had gone into the bathing tent alone, too tired to wait for anyone to accompany her. Ann saw her walking alone with predator eyes. She looked around and saw no one else around so late in the afternoon. Thanking her lucky stars, she followed the Shaman to the bathing tent and before getting in Cierra’s line of sight, took her small pistol from the ankle holster on her right leg.
A few more steps and she pulled back the hammer. “Don’t move Cierra. Keep your hands to your sides where I can see them.”
Cierra slowly raised her hands as her head turned slightly to see who was speaking.
“Do you really think that will help Ann?” Cierra asked, speaking of the weapon.
“We’re going back,” Ann said softly as she reached around and yanked the talisman from around the Shaman’s neck.
She rubbed it with her fingers, half hoping it would return her to the real world and Cierra wouldn’t be necessary to travel back and forth. When nothing happened she held up the stone just out of the smaller woman’s reach. “How does it work?”
“It helps to be the granddaughter of a shaman,” Cierra said with a weak smile.
“Being a smart ass won’t help. Are you saying only you can control it or do you think another shaman might be able to use it?”
“Honestly, I have no idea.”
“Then I guess you take me back with you.”
“The hell she will,” JP said. Ann turned her head and saw JP wasn’t armed. She could do little to stop her.
“We’re going back now,” Ann told her. “I’m going to bring it closer to you and we’ll return to my world, understood?”
“And if I refuse to help you rape this world?”
“Who said anything about raping this world?”
“How about the military? Kelly overheard an interesting conversation when in hiding from them. They mentioned bringing in chain gangs to do the labor here.”
“Liar. There’s no way they’d bring convicts here. Besides, all they want is the oil.”
“Sure, and the gold, silver, uranium, diamonds…it’s all here and they know where to look. All they need is a way to get to it all,” Cierra told Ann gently.
Doubt filled the 2nd Lieutenant’s mind but she was determined to get them back. “No more words Cierra. We go back now or else.”
“Then you had better shoot me and get it over with Ann. I won’t go with you.”
“Hmm, if you don’t care if you die, then how about JP?” Ann asked, swinging her pistol in the lanky woman’s direction as she pulled Cierra closer.
Cierra panicked. She couldn’t allow JP to be harmed. “Wait! Alright, I’ll take you back,” she pleaded.
“Cierra, no!” JP shouted.
“I’m sorry,” the shaman said and placed her hand on the stone and disappeared.
They arrived at the front yard of their former residence at the farm.
“Now what?” Cierra asked. They were miles outside city limits and she doubted Ann wanted to have a hostage and ask farm owners if she could use the phone.
“I call work,” Ann said and pulled out a cell phone. She turned on the power to it
She hit auto dial and contacted the relay office. It took nearly 12 minutes before she spoke to anyone of authority. Finally the Major answered. “I have her,” was all she said.
“Where are you?”
“The original farm site, sir.”
“We’ll be there in less than an hour. Stay out of sight until we arrive.”
“Yes sir,” The Major hung up. “Now we wait.”
· * * *
Cierra was surprised to see a limo of all things arrive. There wasn’t any sign of military trucks or troops at all. Ann pulled her towards the car and told her to get in once the driver opened the door.
Ann followed her into it. She immediately pulled the smaller woman next to her and kept her arm around her. She saw the major lift his eyebrows curiously. “So she can’t jump without me Sir.”
“We can’t keep someone draped over her forever Lieutenant. I think an electronic collar might be in order. One that will explode if she pops out of this world when it can’t pick up the signal from our satellite,” he mentioned in warning, wanting Cierra to realize she was his captive.
Ann felt a shiver along her spine. She hadn’t mentioned the talisman as yet and now wondered if she should.
“So, young lady, you are the Indian who has been avoiding our troops. Funny, you don’t look Indian,” he grunted.
Cierra ignored him. He was a jerk even if he had her in his clutches. She felt something strike her in her chest. She looked down and saw a pair of handcuffs. She picked them up.
“Put them on,” The officer said.
Cierra looked down at them and lifted them slowly. She looked at him and allowed her protective wall to drop, letting the images from the metal enter her mind. She needed to know whom she was dealing with.
“You are heavily in debt Major William D. Calloway. Your wife left you last year after she caught you and your civilian secretary, Jeffrey, going at it in your den. She agreed to keep it quiet if you gave her a large divorce settlement. Your only child, Jaime, won’t speak with you anymore. You are also angry that you haven’t been recognized and promoted as you think you should have. You see me as a stepping stone to a higher rank. You also plan on using the ill gotten gains from Mother Earth to line your own pockets.”
The grin left the officer’s face. “How?” he managed to ask.
“How do I know these things? I’m also psychic to an extent. Shall I tell you more of what I know of you Major? It’s all right here, in these cuffs.”
The large man went pale. He glanced nervously at the Lieutenant, wondering if he could keep this quiet. He saw a look of disgust on her face. He knew she hated gays and that was why he had chosen her for this mission. Apparently the Lieutenant realized it too.
“You used me Major. You and heaven knows whom else in the chain of command. I heard rumors at the colony and refused to believe in them. Now I’m not so sure. You say she’s the selfish one for not sharing the New World’s resources? I don’t think so, Sir,” she said with a look of disgust.
She slid her hand into her pocket and removed the talisman. It was well within Cierra’s reach.
She didn’t even think about it. The shaman reached for it and jumped, taking Ann with her.
They landed painfully in a muddy puddle. The limo had been moving when they leaped and they hit the ground hard.
“Oh shit,” Cierra muttered as they rolled in the boggy mess and came to a stop.
Ann groaned and wiped away the glob on her face. She slowly crawled out of the mud, helping Cierra out as well. They settled onto a grassy spot and caught their breath.
“Thanks. For everything,” Cierra said.
“What, for being an idiot? I almost got you killed and threatened your girlfriend. I don’t deserve any thanks.”
“Yes you do. You did the right thing and that’s all that counts in the end. Let’s go home.”
“Is it my home?” Ann asked, her eyes bright with tears.
“Of course it is. C’mon, let’s get going before it gets dark.” The shaman headed for the colony, now more familiar with the area than when they had first arrived.
The sun was nearly down when they walked into the village. Outraged women surrounded the former spy and wanted vengeance. Cierra shouted at them to stop at the same time that JP was doing her best to crush her in a hug of relief.
“Listen to me, all of you! Ann helped me escape. She isn’t with ‘them’ anymore. I don’t want one single person to give her any grief, understand?” Cierra said firmly, looking at all of her closest friends so they knew she was serious.
The women settled down. If Cierra asked it of them then they would honor her wishes. Cierra took JP’s hand and spoke to Ann. “Let’s get something to eat and clean up. We’re filthy.”
· * * *
JP, in spite of her lover’s words couldn’t but help glare at Ann as she slowly picked at her meal. Cierra saw the look and caressed her cheek, drawing her gaze to herself and shook her head.
“Don’t tell me not to be angry, Hon. She threatened both of us.” The former game and Fish warden didn’t care if the woman heard every word.
Ann didn’t say anything. She kept her eyes on her plate and pushed around the food. She felt bad about everything and didn’t begrudge JP’s anger.
“She was doing her job. Ann only knew what she was told JP. Once she realized the stakes she helped me escape.” Cierra chuckled briefly. “In spite of being a homophobe she sided with the ‘dykes’.”
Even Ann had to grin at that remark. “God, what did I get myself into? The only straight woman in a camp full of lesbians,” she muttered loudly, her tone wry.
JP laughed and the tension suddenly left her. Ann had a sense of humor at least. Women in the communal building laughed as well. With that, the women forgave the lieutenant for what she had done.
Continued in Part 9
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