Disclaimer: This is my own original work and may not be duplicated, copied, or reposted without my written consent. A printout is fine for personal enjoyment as long as the Author, title, disclaimer, warnings, and copy right remains on the printed copy.
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.
Author’s Notes: I lost track, I think this the 6th of the Mother Earth Series. I would love to get some feedback on this series. I haven’t heard much on the last few stories and afraid I might be boring people to death with this. Do you have a favorite character or one that you hate? Do you dislike any part of the series and why? Is there a subject you want to see addressed? I would really like to know and this isn't a plea for fan mail but an honest request asking for feedback.
My Muse tends to write with blinders on and I have no plot when I write, making it up as I go. Having suggestions sent in a timely manner might get them included in the story. Maybe you would like one of the babies born named after a kid in your family, etc. Sometimes having someone kindly (please, I have thin skin) pointing out a flaw can trigger whole new story lines or ideas so constructive criticism is welcomed. Grumblings also have the benefit of forcing me to think about why I chose to follow a path in the story.
Cierra shivered from the chilly December temperatures. She had wanted to remain in her warm bed but her pride had gotten her out of it to join the others in the communal building. JP had been gone several days, among the group helping the Sky Dancer Clan transport the needed snow and ice. Their wagon had broken a wheel and none of them had the expertise to repair it. Maggie had loaded up her tools in her wagon along with two other wagons in case the wheel couldn’t be repaired quickly. Each wagon held two people, two of which were of the newly arrived men.
The wives of the men had found the situation amusing. Back on the old Earth they would have had a fit if their husbands had volunteered to go on a long trip with four attractive women. But considering the women in question were lesbians the wives merely shrugged and took it good-naturedly.
The shaman missed her spouse, feeling the emptiness in their bed during the nights. At least Elu was happy; spending the nights on the forbidden bed while JP was gone. Cierra hoped they returned soon. She ran her palm over her large belly as the baby kicked lightly, as though she had felt her mother’s worry. At least they believed it to be a girl. Kota had said he had a dream of a daughter so they took his word for it and referred to the baby as ‘she’, hoping the shaman had been correct.
She entered the warmer communal building and was greeted by others who sought its warmth. The last few weeks had been very cold, driving the women to gather around fireplaces. Even the public baths had been avoided except to use the smaller personal tubs. The larger one wouldn’t stay warm long enough to be of use.
The barracks were still chilly away from the fireplaces but tolerable. Snuggling for warmth was now a common practice since the beds were built on the outer walls. The adobe homes were snug and warm and the occupants were often envied. The houses were originally intended for the founders and women with children. With so many now having families, it seemed unfair.
The community was having the construction crew build multiple barracks for families in the spring. Once finished, the houses would be for those serving as councilors and their families. It had been discussed at length and agreed upon. Even after the exchanging of homes, two of the adobe houses would be unoccupied and reserved as guest housing. The guest housing in the first mixed barracks would be made into a common room for everyone living there.
Their community had also added several people to the council now that everyone knew each other well. The newest members added to the council were Paul Cooper, the engineer, and Judy Carver, the weaver.
Pam waved at Cierra and invited her to join she and her spouse, Eva. Cierra and Pam had both arranged for their pregnancies at the same time during the May trade. Each woman was due the next month and agreed that carrying babies that long was exhausting. They shared complaints of not seeing their feet and the difficulties of standing.
Cierra collected her breakfast and joined the happy couple. They seemed like such an odd pairing but they were without doubt the most devoted couple she had ever seen. Pam was a black Londoner who was voluptuous and bold. Eva was a slight Eurasian who was bashful in the extreme unless it came to her engineering. It was also an amusement to the community that poor Eva suffered through sympathetic symptoms while Pam was taking her pregnancy like a trooper.
“Good morning,” Cierra said with a smile. She carefully sat on the end of the bench since climbing over had been impossible for several months.
Eva commented on the cold weather, causing Tracy to snort and mutter ‘wimp’ under her breath. She was from Canada and the 40-degree weather was warm to her. Eva tossed a piece of bread at the woman who mocked her. Tracy tossed it back and stuck out her tongue.
“Alright children,” Cierra said, “No starting food fights near the pregnant women. We can’t run for cover if it gets rough.”
Tracy made soft clucking noises.
Cierra turned to Pam. “Tell me why I took this job again? Was it for respect?”
Pam shook her head and waved her fork in the air. “No, it was for the privilege of babysitting the entire community.”
“Oh, yeah, I forgot. I knew there was some sort of reward for my devotion and headaches.”
“And don’t forget the bonus of settling minor spats and listening to all the whining.”
“My goodness, I forgot about that. Maybe I ought to pay them for all these joys.”
Tracy held up her hands in defeat. “Okay, I’ll be good. Sheesh, talk about guilt trips!”
Cierra sent a wink to Pam and began eating her breakfast.
JP and the others rode into the village later that afternoon. Maggie had done a temporary patch job on the broken wagon wheel but it needed major rebuilding. The people from the Sky Dancer Clan would be staying with them for a while. The snow and ice they had been bringing to them was dumped into the cistern and would be repacked neatly later on.
The shaman greeted her spouse warmly, happy to see her back safely. They began walking back to their home slowly while they chatted, catching up on events during their separation.
JP pointed towards the Embassy. “Cyd helped you okay getting there on Monday?”
“She did fine. Not as skilled as you but did okay,” she grinned. Cierra could no longer ride a horse in her condition so Maggie had rigged one of the lightweight pull carts as a rickshaw. A rough pathway had already been cleared over the summer months for people to travel between the sites. JP normally pulled the cart the half mile to the Embassy each Monday so her spouse could transport those who needed it and any supplies loaded on pallets.
“Good. And is there any dog hairs on the bed?”
Cierra looked guilty. “Well, you know, it gets pretty chilly at night and you know how cold my feet get…”
“Uh huh. You spoiled that dog while I was gone. If Elu was any bigger he’d have me sleep on the rag rug and not him,” JP grumbled, making Cierra laugh.
“At least he isn’t a Great Dane or one of those slobbering dogs.”
“True. Although, I kinda like those flat-faced dogs. They look like they ran into a wall.”
“I can see how they’d appeal to your warped sense of humor,” Cierra remarked. “Personally, I’ve always loved greyhounds. I saw one at the pet store. They had greyhound adoptions that day and they had this sweet old dog there. Calm as can be and friendly with everyone.”
“Oh? I guess you like ‘em big and skinny,” JP said, tongue in cheek. Cierra looked at her tall and sinewy mate from head to foot before rolling her eyes.
Jeramy Blackburn threw down his shovel in disgust. “Fuck you, Billy! You’re the one who had the idea of digging for gold and now you want to want to run to that dyke town and ask for a ride back? And what will we live on? Our good looks? I’m not going back to the reservation, dirt poor and no place to go.”
“Yeah Billy,” another young man added, “Our hovel was a piece of shit with no water or electricity but I bet someone already moved into it. Mom and Dad are back at the village. At least they’re eating decently. If we go back I say go home to them.”
Phil spat on the ground. “A bunch of spineless mama’s boys. I thought all of you were sick of living in a fishing village? Just because we haven’t found much gold yet isn’t a reason to give up.”
Billy tried to explain in a way so that he didn’t sound like a whiner or unmanly. “It’s not that Phil. “We’re getting sick of eating nothing but rabbit and fish. Not to mention I got blue balls like you wouldn’t believe. Jerking off isn’t cutting it anymore.”
The five young men, between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two, had left the Bay Otter Clan’s coastal village to try their luck on their own. They had gotten tired of being told what to do and having nothing to do in their free time. They grew up with at least movies and modern conveniences on the most part and hated living primitively.
They had told their folks they would wander around for a bit and think about what they wanted. Possibly having Cierra White take them back to the Old World. That had been what they told the folks to pacify them but what the guys had wanted was adventure. Well, it had been fun the first week or so but living the life as nomads left a lot to be desired.
Billy Yuma had brought up finding Sutter’s Mill, vaguely remembering his history lessons and where they found gold. They didn’t even have a map or real clue where to look. Even so, the idea of becoming rich then going back sounded good. So far all they had collected was a little gold dust, perhaps enough to buy burgers someplace.
Kevin, Billy’s younger brother, came up with a suggestion. “Why don’t we move on? This spot isn’t great. Maybe further downstream we’ll find more gold. Besides, the Sky Dancer Clan has their winter camps somewhere south of us. Maybe they can give us some food and show us where to dig. They had a lot of gold at the Rendezvous.”
“Sounds good to me,” Archer piped in. “Let’s go.”
Colonel Webb smiled as she greeted Cierra. The two women had become close friends over the last few months. “I swear you get bigger every day. Are you certain it’s just one baby in there?”
“Just what I need, more to worry about,” the Shaman teased. She knew she had gained a lot of water weight during her pregnancy but Pat and Sandra were pleased with her health and weight gain.
“Well, at least this is the last trip to the Old World for the next month. Have you and JP decided on names yet?”
“Oh, months back. Kiona if it’s a girl and Dillon for a boy. Kota will be the middle name regardless.” Cierra explained about the tradition they had begun.
“I like it. Sort of like the old days when they named one of their kids the surname of the mom.” Mary picked up a large bundle of papers she needed to deliver to the mirror embassy.
It only had a small staff but it was more than enough for a community with few laws. Kelly and Laura had elected to be the ambassadors for the first year. With the income from the exploration rights they hired several permanent staff members, including Jim, the man who has often helped them get supplies, and Hillary, Cierra’s former girlfriend and lawyer.
They stepped onto the marked transport location. Mary raised her voice and asked if anyone else needed to go too. No one spoke up. Mary placed her hand on Cierra’s wrist and they jumped to the Old World.
The first thing they noticed was a breeze. Considering they were indoors it surprised them. The second thing they noticed was the wind carried black smoke that had them choking. Mary looked at Cierra with watery eyes and choked out two words, “Go back!”
Return to the Academy