“Your parents are alive in another dimension?” Anna asks. “And that's why you can fly now?”
"Yeah, I spent a good week hugging Mom and pinching myself to make sure I was really awake. She was doing the same thing." Her eyes grow dark a second like she's remembering something. And she is, looking up from kicking the ass to see people staring at her from behind a shimmering energy. One of whom is her mother and another is a man who looks familiar. And a handful of people who she recognizes from comic books.
Pulling back the hood of the cloak she'd found herself wearing she swears in every language she knows.
"Mom?" The man she'd been hitting tries to pull what might be a weapon from the way they're yelling and she turns into a spin kick, knocking it out of his hand. Then knocking him out.
"How do I let you out?"
"The blue lever." She braces her feet against the console and gives it a yank, landing on her ass as it moves. The man who she thought she knew is standing next to her, just staring at her and she mentally slaps herself upside the head. Of course she knows him.
"Hello Dad, it's nice to finally meet you."
"Finally meet me?" Charles Savage asks.
"Since Mom died when I was twelve and you died before I was born? I don't think we're from the same dimension. Because you . .." she points three people, "Are comic book characters in my world. And he's from a tv show." She points at another.
"You know about alternate dimensions?"
"Yeah, I'm 'bonded' to a sentient spaceship and have taken a lot of intensive science classes that they don't have on Earth."
"What was her reaction to your degrees?" Susan asks bringing her back to the here and now.
"She blinked for five minutes. Just sat there blinking. Of course my fathers weren't that much better off."
"How is Earth?"
"Theirs is a lot better off than ours, but then they're also ahead of us by a thousand years. They've got multiple settled worlds and have a satellite in orbit around their own planet they recently moved to. They were saddened to hear about all the problems ours is having but glad to hear that we'd already set up a new spot we're moving to." Josette settles down on the floor and randomly picks one of the bags to open and start going through.
"Does she know about us?"
"Oh yes, she was worried how I might react to learning she was in a multiple partner relationship since it's not as common there as it is here." Josette's eyes grow dark again as she remembers that conversation.
"Josette, the others don't just live here. . .they ummm they. . ."
"They're my other fathers? Kinda figured that out when the kids called them Dad."
"You don't mind that you have more than one father?" Clarinda relaxes. "Multiple partner relationships aren't exactly the norm."
"Ahhh, another difference. They've been widely accepted on my world for years. I've been with my three wives and four husbands since I was thirteen." She holds up a hand to hold off the explosions. "We met in high school, we were friends, then friends with benefits, then lovers, and we married when I was nineteen since we wanted kids and the families insisted on the kids all being legitimate."
"I'm going to have grandbabies?" Clarinda wipes a tear away then scowls.
"Ahhhh, I see I'm going to be a big sister again."
"Yes." Clarinda sighs. "And grandbabies?"
"Yes, you have 27 of them, ranging from 15 going on 1500 down to a couple months old."
The others blink at her. "Excuse me, you're only 14."
It's Josette's turn to blink. "Uhhh no. . ."
"Nineteen if you just married." Thomas Thompkins says. "Biologically you're in your early to mid teens though the genetic markup shows really advanced healing."
Josette sighs and swears, covering her eyes. "Try turned 35 a few months ago." She looks up. The others stare at her. "I was born in 1990."
"Okay, that's another difference. You were born in 3010 here."
"Though that makes me a little less worried about you having so many degrees. Though you have to be going for more than one degree at a time."
"Oh yes, I usually have six or eight degrees I'm actively going for plus usually around 20 I'm going to start when I get one finished. I generally stick with the same schools since they have the degrees that interest me. And the teachers are 'ahhh, that's just Josette' when they hear of a student getting a perfect 4.0 all the time."
"Three sets of twins, four sets of triplets, and the rest single births. One of the twins and two of the triplets are identical, one of the triplets is a set of identical twin boys and their sister, while the other set of triplets is fraternal twin boys and their sister." The others blink. "Two of my wives are identical twins, their older brother is one of my husbands. Multiples run in their family. Though one of the set of twins and one of the set of identical triplets I gave birth to. Clarinda and Yoriko just turned five and are in kindergarten and Alana, Anissa, and Arianna are three months old. We all live and work at a boarding school that goes year round, fifteen week semesters so we usually get pregnant during our Christmas break. And if one of us gets pregnant, the rest of us generally do too."
"We go off it when we decide we want more children and while we're nursing. Since this is a high school and teenagers are hormonal and cranky most of the boarding girls are on birth control with parental permission so we don't have teen pregnancies like the school in town did before they got shut down. We've only had one teen pregnancy and that was a girl in the grade above ours when we were in school and she was a day student. Her family was from one of those religions that don't believe in birth control or sex outside of marriage."
"Good girls don't need that?" Somebody snorts in the room.
"Basically yeah, so it was a huge scandal in their church when she got knocked up. They tried to make them marry and the boyfriend refused."
"Are all sharp as tacks, the education center associated with the day care center we operate covers K-8 classes. They ignore stuff like birth dates so the kids start earlier than they would be if they attended school elsewhere."
"Did you skip kindergarten in your world?"
"Yes, a longstanding joke is I'd have been the world's oldest kindergartner since I'd have failed afternoon nap. The twins are just as smart as I am, but they have two brothers and a sister their age and we all decided to keep them in the same grade so the others wouldn't feel bad about them being in one grade while their sisters were in the next." The others nod.
Later that night Clarinda is leaning against the wall looking out at the planet under them.
"My baby's been without me for over twenty years. I didn't realize she's so old."
"None of us did. If she hadn't said she married at 19 I would have thought 13, maybe 15 at the oldest because of her genetic workup, that's why everybody's been so upset she has so many degrees. Even at 35 though she got to be cramming as many classes as she can get in at a time."
"I've hit 50 classes a semester three times." Josette says walking through. The others look at her. "Shouldn't you be sleeping?"
"Ahhh, I get these days, yawn my fool head off all day and I'm wide awake the second I'm horizontal." Everybody looks at Charles and snickers. "I'd wondered where I got it from."
"That and . . .
"No matter what time you go to bed, you never sleep beyond six?" Charles chuckles and nods. "And there's nights where I don't even bother to go to bed."
"Been there, done that, got the 'Josette, you need to sleep' looks from everybody."
“So is this also the reason you don't wear your glasses anymore?”
Clarinda kisses Josette's forehead as she falls asleep in the medical unit, the nanites being injected into her body starting to work. They're literally recreating her body
“Did you get any schooling in while you were out there?”
“Did you bring anything back?”
“Yep, Atlantis tracked me down after I'd been there for a few months.”
"Val, I noticed you've been working with Josette on her martial arts?"
"Yes, she doesn't seem to have any particular style, but if I demonstrate something she almost seems to pick it up instantly."
"I've noticed something similar with her schooling." Brainiac Five says. The Doctor and Kyle nod. "She's familiar with some sleep-teaching techniques from the classes she took with the others, the schools were able to build on that."
"Josette is a mystic." The White Witch nods.
Alarms sound and everybody runs to the control room, finding a large spaceship hovering next to them.
"Josette. . ." Charles says as she comes into the room. "Dirk can you. . ."
"Relax everybody, this is my spaceship." Josette slaps a belt on her box. "Hello Atlantis."
"Hello Josette, what did you do this time?" Dirk can't help it, he laughs. He knows that tone, he's heard every parent say it at least once. The others recognize it too by the smirks on their faces.
"Not it, some twit tried 'summoning the shade' of the me from this dimension and grabbed my sorry ass instead."
"And you didn't immediately summon me and head home?"
"My parents are alive here."
"I understand. I see a nice ocean on the planet below us, may I land?"
Josette looks at the others. They nod and give her some coordinates. Atlantis has already settled in position when they arrive on the planet and she is flown over by her mother.
"Everybody, welcome to Atlantis."
"As in the Atlantis?"
"I am the basis for the legend." a holographic image flickers into view in front of them. She points at Josette. "Botany, the containers are piling up."
"Yep." Josette heads that way. "We should be heading to our new planet this summer with a batch of supplies beyond the plastic for the corrals. I need to make a list of what I'll need to grow before we leave."
"And you'll want fresh fruit and vegetables both for the trip and while you're on the planet."
"For the farms we'll be putting up when we head permanently. We've got a couple family farms going up, but only one is an actual working farm, the other is owned by Mom and Dad Covington and they've only had a kitchen garden."
"Are you going to be going alone?" Clarinda asks, so many things could happen on an uninhabited planet.
"Doc and Dr. Stark are coming with me. Eureka is moving to the eighth planet this year but they're getting in massive amounts of supplies in town before they make the move."
"They'll be building after they arrive instead of having it on the planet before they arrive."
"And aside from the school, our settlement on Haven will be starting up slowly."
"Who all is going?"
"We're starting slow, a couple of fabric stores and their owners are coming up either just before we do when there's a 'settlement' on Haven or with us. Three universities are coming up before we do, we're actually the last ones coming up that year because we have to wait on the new students arriving at the school. Over the next couple years they'll either be copying their homes to come up along with their businesses or building new on Haven. Though it will be the same year on Haven it will be the following year when another group comes up from earth; another university and two groups of people. One will be settling on their own land, the other group . . .which is our woodworkers and metalworkers will be living in town for a better word. They'll be coming up too late to start crops but I'll be bringing in supplies for them over the winter. I'll also be bringing up the supplies for a growing building for winter food."
"What all will be in town?"
"The fabric stores and their homes, a general store,the building for the woodworkers. . .who will eventually be making furniture for us, and a communal kitchen at first where people can come in and eat hot meals. A building for making soap, a building for making candles since only half of the houses going up will have solar panels. The computer programs say they should run everything but the lights after dark but we'll have to see how fast the heaters run them down our first winter. The last building going up the first year will be the growing building. After our first year we'll start on the commercial farms."