A day or so after Thanksgiving David opens the tesseract for the students, school employees, and cooking school employees, those returning home and those who want to to back to Earth for a couple weeks. Everybody walks through the tesseract again back on Earth as Josette is busy moving orders to the warehouse and she joins the others.
"Is that all the orders?" Calvin asks at the files that are sent to his PADD.
"For this year, yeah." They count the socks before Calvin takes Josette to the house.
"Is everybody finished with their bachelors? Besides David and Josette?"
"Yeah, I'll be three years into my masters and the boys will be a year into theirs." Susan says, leaning back against the couch. "David, did you sign up for pre-admittance to graduate school?" Mary asks.
"Yeah, I'm on the waiting list. by the time I can start the classes, I'll be finished with my bachelors." Calvin and James nod in satisfaction. The talk turns to the planned books, the plans to grow on the first planet the next year, the work to be done on the ranch house, the possibility of adding another summer kitchen to the ranch . . .they've already planned one for Thomas's land, bringing out animals over the next year. . .
Four weeks later the returning students and employees get off on Haven, the cooking teachers arriving by their homes and heading inside since the wind is beginning to pick up and the students heading to the auditorium to have their bags checked before they go back to their dorms. Josette delivers everything then heads off to the other dimensions, coming back several months later for them. More deliveries are sent off before they head back to the dorm, dropping into seats and grabbing quilts or afghans to wrap around themselves since they'd been on the first planet for a few weeks, it will take a few hours for their bodies to get used to the difference in temperature again.
"Plans for the rest of the year?"
"Working with Agatha and Sue sorting the quilts into various areas for books. Working on the notes from the t-shirts for a book, I want to finish the quilt I'm working on before the meeting. Checking to make sure Doc and the others are settling in on the tenth planet their first winter."
"Did they get the library finished?"
"Yeah, it's tapping into the alternate power system of Headquarters."
"Can they pick up tv and radio stations?"
"Yeah, I put up a satellite for them while I was there. And they can come to Haven, Archimedes, or the 9th planet anytime they want."
"Are you bringing out stuff for the movie theaters?"
"Yeah, it's on the ships. We don't need it right away, we've still got plenty of stuff from the other dimensions." The others nod.
"Do we have a theater besides the home system you added to the dorm?" David asks. Josette sniggers. "Yep, both of them plus copies of everything I've brought out." The others sigh. "Not it. The others did it. They figure if we get antsy during bad storms, this way we can watch movies. They were talking about adding a dive-in theater but figured we wouldn't need it."
"A drive-in theater?"
"A dive-in theater. A movie screen by a pool so we can swim and watch movies at the same time."
David rolls his eyes as Josette laughs. "The last thing I want to do while I'm swimming is watch a movie."
Josette nods. "Which is why they didn't add one. But they're talking about putting up a big screen outside town like the old drive in movie theaters, putting speakers around the area so people can sit on blankets and watch the movie. I'm bringing it up at the next meeting."
"Josette did say that they had those type of free movies in the open space in the dimension she grew up in as part of the film festival." Josette nods.
The next week Josette flips her cloak into subspace before starting to fill three large plates and settling in her usual spot with a bottle of pop, talking about the books, showing off her finished quilts and the t-shirts, and what they'd be making next year after the kits and cookies are passed out. A few things are added to the list to make and Josette nods.
"Are you growing on the first planet next year?"
"Yeah, this way we'll have a nice selection of fresh and dried peppers for the sausages. Mushrooms, onions, we'll have to grow more cabbage for the kraut and kimchee." Josette's voice trails off as she adds more items to the list. Back at the dorm she puts everything away and joins the others in the growing area, heading to the hydroponics and aquaponics area to transplant seedlings.
"Did you talk to the others about sausages next summer?"
"Yeah, they added a few other things to the list to make."
"Nothing will go to waste."
"Do we have the facilities to make vat raised meat ourselves?" Abby asks down the hall.
"Have for years. So does Headquarters. It's part of the whole 'if something happens again, we're prepared'. The others enlarged it while they were here."
"Oxygen generators and scrubbers?"
"Part of the mechanicals." Josette says. "Also extra water cleaning devices beyond the septic unit. Water creation units."
A couple days later Josette heads to the 10th planet, finding Doc going through books on world history.
"How is it on Haven?"
"We're expecting our first storm of the season, not a bad one it will only be a couple days of light snow we can take care of with the shovels."
"Do you have the plans for growing areas?"
"Sure do, I've got Clark and Thomas's," Josette sends it to the server. "Ours, Headquarters, the one in Town, the one on the 9th planet, and the one Doc has on the 9th planet. The last two will probably be the ones you're most interested in." Doc nods and starts looking over everything.
"What are your plans for this winter?"
"Well, we started crops in the growing area. Next year I'm growing peppers, tomatoes, and herbs on the first planet again. The offworld harvests will be coming in while it's still winter so I'll be putting the growing tables on the first planet until something put out dries instead of freezes. Next summer I'll be picking up the other new employees at the school and my last book will be debuting at the shows. We're going to be making sausages, kimchee, and sauerkraut. We'll be using the big buildings and making multiple batches depending on spices and ingredients, I'll let you know the closer we get to it. Bring anybody you want."
"Do you smoke any of them?"
"Yep, the smokehouse will be going for a couple of months probably between chipilotes, cheese, fish, sausages. . ."
"How hard is it to create a system for vat-raised meat?"
"Not that difficult. . ." Josette grabs her PADD and checks the files. "Ha, thought so. Granda and the others already put a system in for you." He looks at her and Josette checks the location, taking him to it tucked in a room at the fortress. There's both bound copies of how everything works on a shelf, a book of recipes to use in the replicator and recipes and instructions on the server.
"Do you have a similar setup?"
"Yeah, both at the dorm and at Headquarters." Between the two of them they have it running. They talk about plans for the next year for a couple hours before Josette heads back to the dorm.
"The others settling in okay?" David asks as Josette slides into her seat a couple minutes after the others had gotten there.
"Yeah, Doc wanted to know if I had plans for growing areas so I passed along Clark and Thomas's, ours, Headquarters, town's, the 9th planet's, and Doc's so he had a few to choose from. Then he asked how hard it was to add a vat system, I went looking on the server and found they'd already installed one." David snickers.
"What were you talking to the Justice League about?"
"Some government morons took a government agent, gave him another set of memories and personality and created a 'safe identity' for him, they could control him so when they needed him they could switch the identities. He found out and of course he didn't want to leave his 'real' life, he was a husband and father though his wife was another operative and his kids orphans they'd given him to . . ."
"Gild the lily as it is?"
"Yeah, they're stunned he told them to screw themselves. Of course the kids don't want to lose both parents and go to an orphanage. . .they've already lost their mom when she chose the job over the family. They gave the family sanctuary on Mars because they thought the government would be bullies and take him despite his wishes. They tried suing and somebody leaked the story to the media. Now the government has a dozen eggs on its face, the court of public opinion is firmly on the side of the family and many in the government are wondering if they'd have been next . . .or if it had already been done to them."
"Is anybody working on the infertility problem?"
"Yes, but so far none of the eggs they had from after the accident have been able to be fertilized, and the ones from before the virus hit aren't viable anymore."
"Earth is screwed."
"Pretty much. It will be generations before they recover and they'll have to introduce new genetic stock from the archives so there's no inbreeding."
"We were lucky there."
"So are they, they've got billions of samples in the archives from scans of Earth. So does the 9th and 10th planets."
Josette covers her mouth with an arm to cover a yawn. David sniggers.
The weeks up to the Lights Festival finds Josette working with Agatha and Sue sorting out the quilts. They've got five sections of quilts with a good three or four books in each section. Bronwen grins when she comes out.
"I'm debuting it next year at the shows." Bronwen grins.
Josette and Doc head off to the other dimension for a few days after the Lights Festival, Josette looking out the window of Headquarters at the dark sky. "This all looks so damn familiar."
"People get used to . . ."
"The new normal?"
"That's how it was on Earth, everybody got used to the gloom in the air until the winters started getting so bad. Earth was recovering, abandoned buildings were torn down, there was community gardens in the now empty lots. . ."
"Life goes on."
"Anything new?" Doc asks at the government meeting the first day of the new semester.
"Yeah, Granda wants to put up a large movie screen outside of town. Think a drive-in theater but everybody sitting on blankets as they watch movies."
"We wouldn't want them all the time." President Bartlett says slowly.
"Nope, but it would make a nice treat eight and nine days when the crops aren't coming in. Maybe during the Harvest Festival. Josette. . ." the others nod. "says a larger city about an hour from where she lived had a film festival and showed movies that way."
"We don't need something like that but. . ." President Bartlett starts making notes on his PADD.
"Tell them the other idea." David sniggers.
"Granda wanted to add a dive-in movie theater in the dorm."
Principal Madison moans as the others look at Josette, then him. "I saw something on tv on those while we were out there. A screen by a pool so you can watch a movie while you're swimming. Oh is Thomas and the others saving movies out there?"
"Yep, along with tv shows and other entertainment. They need it on the moon and Mars anyway, you can't work all the time."
"Me Granda's dimension first, then the boys Mom's. Last book is debuting so sales will be brisk." Her loving family sniggers at her.
"Coming in early this year, I'll take the drying tables to the first planet since I'm planting there this year."
"Are you taking Doc out?"
"Yeah. That way if they ever want to grow in their tropics they have an idea of what will be needed."
"Both started up again today."
"Taking containers home for the returning employees and seniors?"
"Maybe midterms depending on how they're stocking up. If not definitely when I take in the orders." Josette covers her mouth with her arm and yawns, David looks out the window and nods. "Cold, snowy winter."
"Third testing week."
"Do you have more building supplies?"
"Yeah, I'll have a second batch the end of this semester and a third by the time the others come out again to work on the buildings. The animals will be coming out this year and the garden and crops going in next year." Nods from the others. "With Thomas coming out either late next year or early the year after that."
"Will that be enough building materials?"
"With a little . . .oomph yeah."
After the meeting Josette heads to the bakery, getting a bag of doughnuts and other snacks before returning to the dorm, shaking the snow off her boots and cloak. Feeding the fish on the first floor she heads upstairs to the growing area, checking the list of what seedlings need to be transplanted before checking the other list of what they need to start in the greenhouse. Alan's in the aquaponics area when she comes in, skimming off some of the dirty water for the plants in the other area. Josette skims from another tank, the tomatoes do wonderfully after a little fish water is added.
"Going to be interesting when we harvest the first clams and mussels here." He says absently. Josette nods. They should be ready to harvest later that year. The work is quickly done and they head downstairs. Josette grabs a knitting kit and looks at the pattern, grabbing a pair of needles from the pegboard and casting on.
"What are you working on?" David asks at lunch.
"I'm starting one of the semesters on western animation, I'm starting the last year for my online degree, and I'm starting the third year for The Green Hornet from Montague, the first of three degrees.
"Cooking or musical instruments?"
"I'm starting another cooking degree this fall from Assyrian and possibly a musical instruments degree next year."
"Are you still taking the cooking blocks?"
"Yep. Demand is still brisk and Granda says there's a waiting list of people who want to come out and teach. We're going to have a very nice selection of cooking styles on the servers by the time they're done." The others nod.
"How is it in Thomas's world?"
"Death rate is holding steady, there's people dying every day but you don't see the massive deaths we had from the war, the epidemics, and the cancers. Now as the children born during or after World War II get older, we're going to see the deaths increasing." The others nod.
The rest of the month flies by and soon it's time for their first testing week. The boys, Susan, and Josette head off.
"How is David coming on his bachelors?"
"Good, he's on the waiting list for grad school, by the time he finishes the last semester this fall he'll be able to start his Masters next year. Susan's figuring on finishing her thesis this year or next while the boys are starting theirs this year." The three men nod in satisfaction.
"Finishing anything this year?"
"The degree I'm taking on the school computer. Everything else I've just started or halfway through. This way I'm not at a critical place for anything when Thomas and the others come up."
"Have you planted on the first planet?"
"Yeah I took Doc out with me so he could get away from the snow and see what growing in a tropics area entails. That way if it ever calms down over there, he can find an island or hidden area and set something up."
"What's the latest information?"
"The vulcanologists have been saying for years that the volcanic activity was picking up. . .this just proves them right. Same with the increased earthquakes. It's happened before, it should ease off again. How the world will be changed when it's over is a cause for debate. The melting ice caps have caused the ocean levels to rise, that in turn caused flooding in areas prone to it. Some places saw their subway and sewer systems destroyed."
"Which in turn causes illnesses."
Josette nods. The others start coming over as they finish tests and quizzes and the three men turn their attention to them, asking how they're coming along on their classes and when Susan would be finishing her thesis. The buzzer sounds and Vincent starts passing out plates.
"Josette, what are the plans for Thomas's area?"
"The last of the plastic will be extruded this summer. The others will be coming out with the rest of the new school employees and the remaining building will be going up and the animals coming out. Next year the gardens and crops go in, right now it's hay and grain."
"Field and sweet corn."
Back at the dorm Josette pins the binding to her latest quilt and takes it up to sew, Abby holding it up for her to take pictures when she's done. Finishing the pattern takes the rest of the afternoon and she puts it in a file on the dorm server before joining the others. After dinner and the babies washed and in bed they head upstairs to the growing area to pick stuff ripening and transplant new stuff.
"Another hundredth birthday party. And a party for the babies." David says after they've come back downstairs. The others nod and they start making plans.
The rest of the week has Josette working on green tomato recipes, putting up shelves of various products.
"How are we on ketchups, mayo, and mustard?" Alan asks, peering around the door as Josette's cleaning up.
"We need to make some, I was checking the server earlier. The mayo will have to wait until the hens are laying again, but we can make the ketchup and mustard anytime." Alan nods. "Doc's been learning from the others how to make this kind of stuff." Alan nods in satisfaction and heads back down the hall.
"Yeah, Josette already checked. We can make the ketchup and mustard anytime, we gotta wait until the hens are laying again for the mayo."
Josette checks the mushroom growing building that afternoon, making a list of what's going to be needed for the various sausages before picking up a container, knife, and starting to pick. The mushrooms are brushed off and laid on drying tables on Brigadoon to dry before she heads back to the school, joining the others at the dining hall.
"Mushrooms coming in?"
Josette nods. "I'll be picking for a few days. This batch went on the drying tables."
"Have you thought about growing them in wood?"
"Yeah, Doc and I set up a growing area on the first planet while we were there. The robots will be watching and harvesting."
"And GD is already wanting to see how growing in wood differs than growing in the buildings, let alone outside in the tropics?" David smirks. Josette nods.
Midterms Josette heads off to Thomas's dimension to pick up more supplies and move more various places. The renovations are well underway on the Kent and Drake farms and Josette takes pictures of the progress on Mars and the moon before heading back.
"How is it there?" Doc asks at the meeting after she's come back.
"Surreal, if you know what I mean. Everything looks normal . . ."
"But when you look under the surface things are different." President Bartlett says. "Exactly. Oh everybody's got a brave face on but. . ."
"People are realizing just how bad off they really are." Doc says. "It was probably the same on Earth when they realized the solar flare was going to kill everybody, especially the closer it got to the end."
"How are the schools?"
"If Thomas comes out when he figures, it will be the first year of no students in pre-school, kindergarten, and the first grade. In the areas where the virus was released and everybody under five died, elementary schools will be empty in a couple of years."
"The economy will start taking a hit. Money's going to be tight unless teachers and other school employees already have other jobs." President Bartlett sighs. "In smaller towns that will mean people moving away or having to drive hours for their jobs."
Christmas is a couple weeks later and Josette delivers the first batch of belongings for the seniors and returning employees to the school along with socks and special orders for Marcus. Back at the school the students have their bags inspected as Josette brings out another offworld harvest. The drying tables are taken to the first planet and Josette brings out green picked peppers and green tomatoes while she's there along with the mushrooms. Going to the various planets she sells a good portion of everything, the rest going in stasis, being made into stuff in the green tomatoes case, or being dried.
"Sell a lot of the first world mushrooms?"
"Yep, not bad for an experiment. GD of course took a good bit off my hands, so did Vincent on both planets."
The third testing week Josette heads off to Doc's dimension with the first of the orders, the government official checking everything over and nodding in satisfaction. Josette picks up more supplies, for both the 10th planet and the orders before spending a few weeks there. A couple weeks later Josette spreads manure on the fields and garden, tilling it under then planting both for them and Thomas.
The finals find Josette, Susan, and the boys heading to Archimedes and the testing center.
"You're done until this fall." Josette says when Susan comes over.
"Yes, thank you gods. Why did I think a Masters in History was a good thing?" Susan moans as she sits down. The three men chuckle, having heard variations of that complaint over the years from many people.
After picking up the recycling and plastic Josette drops off the first batch of orders, sending the e-mail to Calvin. Staying on Earth for a couple weeks she hits recycling centers in cities they don't normally go to then goes to Vegas. Depositing money in her account she heads back to Haven with more supplies. Everything is delivered and Josette slides into her seat at the dining hall.
The next few weeks fly by, Susan uploading her thesis to the server, the boys starting theirs while Josette gets in four classes for the comic book class and orders the vat raised meat that will go in the sausages. The last of the offworld harvests are in and Josette picks the peppers, tomatoes, and herbs on the first planet.
"Is that everything on the first planet?"
"Yeah, I might grow more mushrooms in a few months."
"Does the 10th planet have a mushroom building?"
"Not yet, they might put one up in the future but for now they've got the kits and buy from us."
"Going to be making them as soon as the first crops are in. I'm getting all the supplies in right now, once we're working on them the smokehouse is going to be up and running, first thing we'll smoke is herbs and jalapenos." David nods. "Then the cheese? The sausage, and finally the fish?"
"Yep, that will give Doc the chance to see how everything is preserved by smoking. And we'll have the building to ourselves since it's after the harvests but before the yearly crops are coming in. It won't be needed for fleeces until the harvest festival."
"We're taking part of it, cheese and soap will be available by the end of the year."
"What was Granda talking to Buckaroo about?"
"Buckaroo's been to Mongolia a few times. Yaks. One of his favorite drinks is fermented yak milk."
"And bringing some out." The others nod.
"The soap and cheesemakers are interested too."
Josette slips her shoes off where she's seated at a table filled with copies of her fourth book, wriggling her toes. The table curtain will hide the fact that she's got her shoes off and if anybody notices they'll think they're seeing things because she'll have them back on before they can blink. David cackles mentally and she blows him a mental raspberry.
/It's been a long night already and I'm going to be signing books for hours./
The first batch of animals is brought out when they come back a few weeks later, the horses and cows settling in well as the first coops are being made for the chickens coming up shortly.
The last of the offworld harvests are in and passed out when the crops are beginning to come in. After the second crops are in Josette sends out the call and people start gathering at the big building, popping chunks of vat-raised and real meat in a grinder then adding whatever else goes in that recipe as the casings are filled. Some go on the drying tables, some go in stasis, and the rest are popped in trays on the smokehouse after the paprika and chipilotes are removed.
Doc shakes his head at the 'can't possibly get another thing in there' smokehouse as the door is shut and Josette adds a green log to the fake wood.
"How long will you smoke them?"
"Four days." Josette starts putting the chipilotes in containers.
"Do you make chipilote sauce?" Shoshanna asks.
"Yeah, half of this will be turned into sauce, the rest will be split between powder and sold whole in small packages at the store."
The yearly crops start coming in and soon Josette is off bringing in the new employees at the school. The chickens and pigs are moved to their new areas, shaking off the stasis and settling in.
"Is this everything Josette?" Calvin asks as he looks at the plastic laid out on the ground.
"No, we have one more shipment being made up on Archimedes." Josette finds the details on her PADD and holds it over her shoulder. James nods as he reads the list. "We can work on other stuff until you bring this out. It shouldn't be long?"
"Picking them up in a few days. Get them in then we need to start picking."
"Yeah, we can work around this." The next few days are busy putting up the buildings, Josette delivering the last batch of extruded plastic. By the Harvest Festival everything is set up and Thomas nods in satisfaction as he looks over everything just waiting for them to come up in a year. Josette comes up behind them and puts a pallet of chicken manure down.
"I thought you let the chickens out in the fields?" Mary asks confused.
"We do, this is from the barn auto cleaners over the winter when they're inside. It goes in a container to age for several years before it's bagged." Mary nods in satisfaction. "We add this by the handful to plants that need the extra feed during the growing seasons." Thomas nods. "I have something similar we add during the winter in the growing area."
After the Harvest Festival Josette is busy bringing in the new students over three weeks.
"Are all the dorms full now?" Professor Parker asks as he sits down across from Josette at the pizza parlor. Over the years he'd gotten his masters and doctorate in a few fields so now it's Dr. Parker, but like Josette he doesn't use the title.
"Next year or year after that."
Peter shakes his head. "Even when the second batch of students came out . . ."
Josette nods. "It's been years since we had this many students."
"It's the sign of a good school. From what I've seen of Calvin he's weeding out the applications of those who just want the raree factor. Like Principal Madison, he wants students who are students."
"How is it over at Thomas's dimension? I know you were picking up more supplies after the festival." Doc asked at the government meeting that night after dinner.
"They're really beginning to crack down on the gangs. They thought they could take advantage of the problems Earth had and take over more area. The army came in and started taking them out with extreme prejudice. That knocked the death rate up a bit but everything's a lot more peaceful now. They've been hiring more police."
"They needed it even back on Earth where was always a hiring freeze." President Bartlett murmurs. "And not just police officers, most city workers."
Josette nods. "Every city cut corners so they had more money for their pet projects, it's just basic human greed." Nods from the others.
"So life is settling down to the new normal?"
"Yeah." Josette sighs.
"Changing the subject, how are the animals settling in on Thomas's land?"
"Good. Somebody's over there at least once a day while we're at the ranch and the barns cleaning units are taking care of everything. They'll have a nice manure pile already started when they arrive."
"Do they have the supplies for when they start laying?"
"Yep, we get plenty of the 2 1/2 dozen flats when the supplies come in and everybody has room for eggs. The people in town return the cartons when they buy eggs." Nods from the others. It's only the people who do a lot of cooking who need the larger amounts of eggs."
"Finishing the degree?"
"I'm one class in."
"Start a new cooking degree? And a new block."
"Yep." Josette stretches backward in her chair and yawns before straightening back up.
"How are the others coming in their classes?"
"Susan's going to be finished with her thesis next year, the year after that she's going to have some of the historians at GD looking it over before she uploads it to the server." Doc nods in satisfaction. "David's finishing his bachelors this year and starts his masters next." David had stepped out of the room a minute. "The boys are planning on starting their theses next year, they've been talking with their advisor about that and their doctorates." the three men nod as David comes back into the room. "Okay, the downloads are going."
"Is there any chance of us getting the crystals you mentioned for storage?" Doc asks.
"We've got a room of them growing in the dorm." David says. Josette looks at him. "Dad started them while they were here a few weeks ago, you were off delivering orders to Doc's world. It will take them a while to grow."
They head to the testing center a couple weeks later, Josette sliding into her seat after the tests and quizzes are done.
"Is the school full?"
"We figure year after next."
"How is things on Thomas's world?"
"The morons who caused all this mess are still moaning because somebody has to be pregnant, they're just hiding to make them the bad guys." Snorts of disbelief and rolling eyes. "Yah," Josette snorts. "Life is settling into the new normal."
"Some places you wouldn't know anything was wrong except for the ever present dust in the air from volcanoes. But then you see other places where subways have flooded, sewage and water treatment facilities have been flooded . . . I've been cleaning out a lot of debris so they can rebuild and cleaning out the dumps. The former communist countries have disappeared into economic ruin, the governments still bleating they have a handle on everything and they don't need the rest of the world. Communism will still come out on top and one day rule the world. Meanwhile their citizens are suffering and dying from their stupidity"
"Some people take stupidity to an art form." Dr. Blake sighs, coming over and putting their daughter in Daddy Nathan's lap. "Have the kids decided on their internships?"
"Yeah, they're going to the fourth planet so you'll get Liam and his brood if things go as they usually do. They were out talking to Waynes and Stark and looking over the intern housing, deciding what they needed to bring out and where they wanted to live after they're done." Nods from the others as Susan puts up her PADD and heads to the bathroom, then takes a seat. The boys are finished a few minutes later.
"Has Thomas decided where they're bringing out Wayne and Drake, and if any more are coming out?" Alexander asks as Vincent starts handing out the food. "Thanks Vincent."
"Not yet, they're saving all the discoveries they're making but . . ."
"Like everybody else they're hoping for a miracle and they don't have to bring them out."
"They're in talks with Dayton to bring them out or at least a copy along with going on the moon or Mars."
Josette puts together the layers of a quilt when she comes back to the dorm, basting them together then heading upstairs to start quilting it. By the end of the week she's got the file finished and the quilt is in the cabinet with the others as she joins the others at dinner.
"Get your quilt done?"
"Yeah. Who checked on the animals and crops?"
"We did. The cows mooed, the horses neighed, the pigs grunted, and the chickens tried to eat our workboots." Josette sniggers.
"How is the work coming on the new vines?"
"We planted earlier this year, we should be harvesting year after next. It will be a few more years after that before it's bottled or used in the cheesemaking."
"Got several hundred aging. The glass factory is making more bottles next year once I get the labels finalized." Josette sends the file of possibilities over and they make the selection. Josette sends it to the glass factory. "There, they'll start the new order after the first of the year."
"The orchard planted more trees a few years ago so we're good there." Nods from the others.
"Are you going to grow mushrooms again on the first planet?"
"Year after next."
"Are you going out midterms?"
"To pick up supplies for the school if nothing else." In the front room Principal Madison nods. "I'll take out the orders and recycling when I take the graduates and returning employees home."
"Taking the last out when we go out."
"Is he keeping up with his studies?"
In the front room Principal Madison snorts. "Where do you think Josette gets it from?" Professor Druid is cackling. Once the joke is repeated everybody who knows Josette laughs too.
Midterms Josette heads off to the other dimension, moving empty shipping containers to a yard and getting the 'we got them' message back. Picking up the full ones takes a couple days and six duplicates. Josette talks to Calvin for a few minutes before heading back to the school. Sending the inventory file to Principal Madison Josette starts delivering the containers. Maintenance gets the message and starts opening them, delivering the contents to various buildings. At the dorm she finds the twins doing an inventory of the supply areas getting an idea of what they're running low on.
"Do you have anything for us?"
"Yeah, I'm bringing the containers out now to the area upstairs." Josette sends the file to the others and they nod. A couple hours later her other selves come back to the dorm and they join together before they go to dinner.
"Are you starting your thesis?"
"Yeah, only two years for the masters. .. it's going to be tight." The others snigger. After dinner Josette replicates stuffed peppers and tomatoes for a snack as they talk about what Josette picked up from the other dimension, whether they'll be able to harvest anything from the fish farm not counting the clams, mussels, and oysters or if they should wait another year, and when Josette would be heading off for the second offworld harvests.
Josette picks up and delivers the rye and barley to various places on the planets, sliding into her seat at the dining hall. After lunch she heads to the brewery, working on a dark ale she bottles and puts up.
The crops start coming in and Josette and the others are busy. After the finals Josette's busy putting the orders on the ships and picking up the recycling, grinning as she sees the signs of spring on the 10th planet in the form of snow melting in the fields. They'll be spreading manure on the fields by the end of the year she thinks as the recycling gets moved to Brigadoon. Like the recycling from Calvin's dimension it will be returned to the other dimension.
A week or so later everybody starts coming through the tesseract David opens and they travel to Calvin's dimension. The students are heading off as Josette and her other selves are delivering the orders and recycling then heading to the house. Josette hands Professor Druid's brother a bottle when he comes over. He looks at it and grins. Opening the bottle he sips it and nods. "Not bad for a first effort. How long?"
"A little over a month, I brewed and bottled it our third testing week after I went to pick up the rye and barley since this was a two harvest year."
"How is the tenth planet?" Hannah asks.
"Good, the snow was beginning to melt when I picked up the recycling and they should be spreading manure by the Lights Festival." From the smile Josette suspects Doc will have some help with his first planting.
Several weeks later the students and employees along with Principal Madison and Professor Druid walk through the tesseract as Josette and her other selves begin bringing other stuff out and taking off again. After a few more months their time they return to the school. Josette starts delivering stuff while she joins with her other selves that had been off on Thomas and Doc's worlds.
"Garden plans?" David asks after lunch.
"I'm working on the communal garden for Thomas's land. The summer kitchen was put up already and they brought out supplies last summer." The others nod in satisfaction and start calling out crops, Josette nodding at some and adding them to the list. The talk turns to what they're growing, both in the growing area upstairs and on the ranch the next year.
Josette settles into her usual seat at the Albatross Nest, joining in the half-dozen conversations going on as everybody eats.
"I notice you've not been putting any quilts in the file. . ." Agatha says.
"I've been working on them," Josette holds up a hand. "Bronwen has me keeping them separate for my next book. That way they're new even for you."
"The other quilts?"
"I've been working on the books on and off, we should start printing the first year after next."
Nods of satisfaction from the others. The leftovers are put in containers and Josette sinks her hands up to the elbow in hot soapy water as she starts washing dishes. Everything is soon sorted out and put away, Josette chuckling as she's handed off the leftovers and heads back to the dorm, putting everything away and ordering a variety of pizzas from the dorm parlor before she joins the others at the dining hall.
Over the next few days they start seeds in the greenhouse and plant in the ground in the growing area after tilling in the manure they'd added before Thanksgiving. Looking at the bivalves room Josette and David start harvesting, putting the clams, mussels, and oysters in stasis before they send in the robots to harvest some of the shrimp, prawns, and sardines in the aquaponics area. A couple days later Josette makes a big pot of shrimp and clam chowder, the others grinning as they dig into heaping bowls as snow flies outside. After dinner they watch movies in the theaters the others had added to the dorm.
Josette looks over her shoulder where she's working in the woodworking building with the boys when the others start arriving for the Lights Festival. She puts up the brush she'd been using on the dollhouse furniture and stretches. Bronwen chuckles and wraps an arm around Josette, talking to her about degrees she can be taking as they walk out of the room.
"Have you thought about Thomas's crops?" Hannah asks. Josette puts the files up and they talk, a couple of Professor Druid's brothers nodding and asking questions. The plans for the tree crops gets nods of satisfaction from the others before they head to the dining hall for dinner. Thomas arrives a couple days later and he is involved in a meeting with the others as Bronwen and Josette are going over the quilts she's been making that year and the progress she's been making on the books.
The Lights Festival comes and everybody either heads home or to the 9th or 10th planet. Josette yawns as she slides into her seat at the government building.
"Doc getting his first planting in?"
"Yep. Calvin, Hannah, and the others are talking about whether or not they're going to need a growing area this year."
"Do you have plans for Thomas's land?"
"Yep, and we're bringing out canning supplies after we've planted." The others nod.
"Did you start new degrees?"
"Yeah, I've started another musical instruments degree and a degree from the sosh school on civil rights. With that being the only degree I'm taking online, I'm getting in four classes." The others nod.
"Are Buckaroo and the others taking musical instrument degrees?"
"Oh yes, there's always a handful of us there. Music is one of the universal things." Nods from the others.
"I'm starting the first of an all book degree from a textiles university. Bronwen wants to bring some of them out in a couple years to look over what we have and compare degrees." The three older men look at David. "I'm starting the masters this year."
"The boys are starting their second year for their masters while Susan is starting her last year for hers. She's got her thesis being looked at by the historians at GD before she puts it on the server next year."
After the meeting Josette and David head back to the dorm, Josette heading upstairs to transplant seedlings in the aquaponics, hydroponics, and growing areas while David gets in a lesson or two before lunch.
After lunch Josette goes eeny meeny miney mo and chooses a knitting kit. Looking at it she grabs needles from the pegboard and casts on.
"Next year the babies will be bored out of their gourds in pre-school." Josette says after the babies have gotten baths and been put to bed.
"While Sophia and her group are starting their internships at Stark and Wayne." A foot pushes David from his chair. "No, that doesn't mean we need more babies." He snickers as he gets back in his chair.
"But not only is Summer's group leaving this year, Damien's group is starting their university classes."
"And with the younger kids seven years apart there's a bigger age gap."
"Okay, changing the subject before we get morbid. Do you think Thomas and the others will be out this year?"
"Not unless something drastic happens." Josette says slowly. "Life is settling for what passes for normal there. When things start disappearing from shelves, the garbage isn't picked up, the electricity starts failing. . .people will start seeing how bad off they are."
"They're going to be the ones to save the world." Josette says, her hand on her heart. The others make 'ooh,la' sounds.
"And heads are rolling when they aren't getting the results the government wants?" Michael snorts.
"Yeah. The Chinese government grudgingly allowed their citizens to have more than one child."
More fake expressions of stunned horror.
A couple weeks later David opens the tesseract for students and employees heading home for Christmas. Once everybody has left Josette starts delivering special orders to Marcus before heading to their home. Bronwen gives her a look and she hands over the files on the books. Bronwen nods in satisfaction and sits down to read.
"Still storming?" Dr. Cross asks when Josette slides into her seat at the testing center.
"Yeah, they expect it to be a few more days, then a few more after that digging out." Josette shrugs. "The snow helps the water table and most everybody remembers the California droughts." Nods from the three older men. "We weren't as badly affected as California but we remember that time very well. We weren't limiting water usage like California was but many people were saving water to put on flowers and gardens when they were drawing hot water. And making sure dishwashers were full before they ran a load."
"Which most people with a brain did anyway." Josette snorts. "I'd say it's only common sense but we all know common sense isn't." Snickers.
"Still on track to come out early spring next year. I'm going out a few times this year to make sure everything is ready for them to leave."
"How is it in Doc's world?"
"The new normal is . . .coping. The former communist countries collapsed along with a lot of the former third world countries. The death rate is climbing as people can't grow enough food to survive the winters without being able to buy it. . . " Nods from the others. "Illness is picking up, the water and sewage systems are failing and there's no money for doctors or medicines. Places that had their sewage and water treatment plants destroyed by the floods are still having roving epidemics."
"Are they leaning towards an ice age?"
"No thankfully but the winters are getting colder and longer. While the summers are getting warmer and drier."
"Are they offering help to the other countries?"
"Oh they've offered plenty of help, but it's all been refused. So the other countries are 'let them take care of it themselves, but if you start something we'll finish it'."
"Which is only fitting, you can't force people to accept help."
"They know what happened on our world, if either country tries anything they'll be taken out with extreme prejudice. They already know the world court means business since they've already taken out terrorist groups and the countries that support them."
"What's the population?"
"Somewhere around six and a half billion? They can't count the population in the communist countries, but the third world countries have taken a massive hit."
"The communist countries have to be losing their population." Dr. Cross says quietly. Josette nods. "They don't want to lose face and say their precious doctrine can't take care of their people. Because that would mean communism was a failure."
Back at the dorm Josette holds up the top she just finished, taking a picture for the file before laying out layers and basting them in place before dinner. Over the next couple of days she quilts it and then attaches the binding.
"How are you coming on your books?"
"Good, I should have advance copies of at least six of them to look over by the Harvest Festival with the others the year after that. Including the first book of all new quilts." The others laugh.
Midterms Josette heads off to Thomas's world after her tests, checking on the alterations to everything and moving supplies. Detouring to the moon and Mars after six weeks she checks on the alterations and takes pictures for the others before heading home.
The third testing week takes her to Doc's dimension delivering orders and picking up supplies. She shakes her head at the news as she and Doc are lifting off. Josette drops off Doc and his supplies on the tenth planet before dropping off the supplies for the orders and sliding into her seat at the government meeting.
"How is it there?"
"Getting pretty bad, there's roving brownouts since the electrical grid took a bit of damage in the floods and. . ."
"They can't just shut everything down to fix it." President Bartlett sighs. "The grid had been failing for years in our world before we left. That's why we had five states without power for over two years before the Supreme Idiots took out so many power plants."
"And even with the opportunity to fix those plants that weren't working for two years the government sat on its ass."
"Exactly, the grid was never meant to last this long. Oh. . .they can patch it here and there but. . ."
"It will eventually fail. And most people aren't used to not waking up and being able to flip on a light or turn a handle for water. For possibly weeks on end."
"Which is one reason why we have hand pumps as backup." President Bartlett says. "And we don't rely on just one form of energy. I'd say it's common sense but we all know common sense isn't."
"And why we can cook over fires."
"Well the communist countries are getting their asses kicked by the world court for killing their people when they figured out 'no, you can't wiggle your nose and wish kids up, we done told you that'." Sniggers from the others. "That's human nature."
"So by now everybody's figured out that this is it for humanity and they're making plans for their future. There's two children on the Moon and three more on the Mars city."
The next day she heads off to the other dimension to pick up mail, talking with Jane and the secretary.
"Did Doc get his crops in?"
"Yeah, they've got the communal garden and smaller gardens for homes or specific recipes they want to make. They were taking cooking classes over their winter." Calvin nods in satisfaction. "So many people only . . ."
"Grow or eat what was 'normal' for them. Because the 'ethnic' sections of major stores was americanized ethnic food." Nods from everybody.
"Do they plan on a growing building?"
"Yeah, they've got the plans worked up. . ." Josette flips through the files on her PADD until it comes up and she sends it to Calvin. He looks it over and nods. "They don't need anything larger right now. Like the school's, it was meant to be added onto as needed."
Josette waves a hand in the admin building, bringing out the mail as the woman behind the desk sends out the messages to the students who'd be delivering the mail after classes.
The next week Josette spreads manure on the fields and garden, then takes the tractor out to work up the garden and fields. Several days later she tills under the manure and by the time she heads off with Susan and the boys to the testing center.
"Did you get everything planted?" Dr. Cross asks as Josette slides into her seat.
"Yeah, both ours and Thomas's. Supplies for canning everything and I've got a list of what to make already on the server."
"Basic stuff that can be added onto?"
"And other stuff. I gave Thomas and the others a list of what I was growing and how much it would be and they gave me a list of what they'd like."
"Are they beginning to see shortages on shelves?"
"Did they get any strange looks at some of the stuff they're bringing out?"'
"No, everybody who can has a small garden of their own. Some people are beginning to see that they're going to have to rely on themselves in the future."
"Are they seeing problems with the power grid or other services like on Doc's world?"
"Not yet, they're expecting ten to fifteen years people are going to be working two shifts as people age out of jobs. Otherwise they won't have enough people to handle everything. And the other countries are going to be in just as bad shape."
"Your new grapes?"
"Picking next year. It will be a while before the new wine is ready to be bottled or used by the cheesemakers. But that gives them time to make plans."
The three men nod as first Alexander, then Susan, and finally Michael come over after finishing their tests.
"Plans for the summer?"
"Working on stuff for shows, ours is first this year and helping prepare Thomas's harvests. We took a good batch of special orders out to Marcus for Christmas but we'll have a few more items plus the stuff for our show."
"Been talking to our advisors about both the theses and eventually our dissertations." The three older men nod in satisfaction.
"Get everything done?" Doc asks as Josette slides into a seat at the dining hall a couple days later.
"Yep, recycling has been dropped off, with Doc's and the school's to go to the other dimensions. Flour and pasta delivered to the school and I'm heading off tomorrow to pick up more supplies and letting the students and employees stock up on stuff."
"Dropping them off too. I already took out Doc's."
The next day Josette heads off, David opening the tesseract for everybody while Josette is delivering empty cargo containers and pallets before picking up the cargo containers of supplies, both for the school and government orders. Stopping in the office she delivers the containers of graduating students belongings and heads to the house. A few weeks later David opens the tesseract for students and employees who all have bags before they take off for Haven, Josette delivering containers various places as the students walk to the auditorium to have their bags checked.
Delivering the containers she joins the others at the dining hall for lunch.
"Yep, deliveries for the orders and the school. Sophia and the others getting their intern housing ready?"
"Yep, and looking at permanent housing when they're finished. Damian and the others are going to be talking to GD next summer."
The next few weeks pass and they head back to the other dimension for the boys show, Josette delivering more special orders to Marcus. A couple days later Josette chuckles as the boys make nice with the reporters as she wanders the exhibits. A few weeks later their time they return to the school, Josette delivering supplies to the dorm before they start bringing in the crops.
Josette looks at the canning jars on the shelves in the food building, partially filled pallets mixed among full ones. David looks behind her as she comes to the door and nods in satisfaction.
"Not bad for a first crop. We'll have more for them next harvest." Josette nods and shuts the door behind her. The computer system shuts off the lights and locks down the building even though nobody is around for miles once they leave.
"Are we going to be adding food from the offworld harvests?"
"Yeah, the crops have been getting bigger over the last couple of years." David nods as they join the others at the dining hall.
The next day they head off to the other dimension, this time the boys sniggering as Josette has to make nice with the media. The question about a new book has the reporter scrambling to learn about her previous books and Josette sighs as she takes off her shoes back at the rooms.
"Is it just me or was that woman too stupid to breathe and chew gum at the same time?"
"Not just you, this is the first time I've actually seen stupidity as an actual physical presence." David snorts. James sniggers behind them. "She normally covers an entertainment beat but wanted a chance at the 'big leagues'."
"Ahhh, she comes by it honestly then." Alan snorts.
"Josette, your new books?"
"I'll print advance copies when you come out for the Harvest Festival. How the hell can I wear work boots all day out in the fields but I can't stand good shoes for a few hours?"
"It's not the shoes, it's the company." Clarinda chuckles.
A few weeks later they return to Haven, Josette moving the small boxes that hold a lot of supplies to various rooms before they walk to dinner.
"Are you done for the year?" President Bartlett waves her up to the front table.
"Yeah, I'm going to be taking orders out before the Harvest Festival along with the school's recycling and picking up more supplies, both for the school and the government orders."
"Is Thomas still coming out next spring?" Principal Madison asks.
"That's their timeline unless something big happens to make them move offschedule."
"I'd rather not have that happen, hasn't enough happened there?" Professor Druid sighs.
"Yeah, for every Earth that's calmly going along, there's a number that's had something happen. Jack keeps saying the 21st century is a time of change. . ." Quiet nods from the others.
The yearly crops start coming in and Josette's busy on the first planet and Haven. Then the second crops start coming in and everybody pitches in canning the communal garden on Thomas's land. The third crops are in and the boys working on their papers when the others start coming out for the harvest festival.
"How is it?" Doc asks at Headquarters after the kids have gone to bed.
"Deaths are beginning to pick up again. People are getting older and facilities for the old and those with dementia are overcrowded, the patients aren't getting the attention they need. Prisons are overcrowded and deaths there are increasing as rival gangs fight turf wars in the only place they got left."
A couple days later David opens a tesseract to their land. The fields and communal garden haven't come up yet so they head to the summer kitchen after petting cows, horses, and scratching backs of the pigs with a stick.
"Oh. . .my." Martha walks into the building and turns around.
"Yeah, you really can't can in a normal kitchen, not with the size gardens we grow." Josette says from the doorway. She points at one door. "Pantry to put stuff when it's cooling off before you move it to the food building." Second door is pointed at. "Canning supplies." Martha opens the doors and nods in satisfaction at the bare shelves in one room and the full shelves in the other.
"How do you handle all the food coming in on your land?"
"We've got all the kitchens going, and that's with Hannah and the others enlarging the kitchen at the ranch. They want to add another summer kitchen to the ranch and the others land this summer." Thomas is at the computer screen and nods in satisfaction at the list of recipes.
"You don't realize how long ago you outgrow something until. . ."
"You look at it with new eyes." Josette nods. "Our garden is the same size it was but I swear the gardens produce more every year. And no matter how much food you have at the start of the winter, the shelves are bare come spring."
The food building is next, Ma picking up jars of food on the shelf to look at them as Thomas and Pa look at the pallets of 40 pound bags of wheat, rice, beans, peas, barley, rye, flour, cornstarch, potato flakes, and corn in satisfaction.
"Root cellar is under us with the potatoes, carrots, and other root veggies. Onions we usually braid the tops and hang from the rafters. Same with garlic and peppers."
"Nice variety of spices." Alfred looks at the jars of spices in satisfaction. "Do you grow fresh as well?"
"Oh yes, every decent cook has at least one pot of herbs they use frequently in a window. And half of the herbs go in stasis units so we have fresh when they're not growing. They're also on the replicator."
"Josette, who do we see about the barrels?" Pa asks, coming up the stairs.
"The woodworkers in town or they're on the replicator since we use them everywhere. You've got about two hundred, two hundred fifty upstairs so you shouldn't need them for a while. Once you figure out where you want the bulk food in your homes some can be moved there." Pa goes up the stairs and nods at the barrels lined up five tall. There's also clay crocks with thick lids, recycling containers, milk pails, pails with lids, and other bins upstairs, he nods and comes back downstairs.
"The pails with lids?"
"For the vegetable oil and molasses. They're sold that way at the stores too. That and the olives. Other bulk is sold by the one, five, or ten pound bag to cut down on packaging."
Jonathan sighs and nods. "Some things you'd think you were paying for the packaging and not what you actually wanted."
"Some things might settle during shipping." Alex says in a sing-song voice. Everybody nods.
"Yeah, here you know you're getting a pound of product, not air."
The walk in stasis area is next, currently empty until the chickens start laying and the cows start producing milk.
"The dairies and most everybody with cows makes their own, if there's not churns upstairs talk to Hank and the other woodworkers for them and the paddles to make designs. They made them ahead."
"Real butter." Alfred says with a smile. Josette snickers. "We get in tons of margarine for the school but most of us prefer real butter when we can get it."
"Does anybody grow tea?"
"Yes, we have a small plot of tea plants but we have more that we can grow. Or you can grow and sell to the government." Alfred thinks a moment and nods. "Coffee?"
"We grow several varieties, including four offworld. Though only three are sold." Thomas looks at her. "First planet, the offworld coffee harvest, the offworld expresso harvest. . .that isn't grown every year and part of that goes to the chocolatiers to be dipped in chocolate, and the island. The island we just grow for ourselves and most of the first planet coffee we hold back too." Nods from the others.
"How do you sell the coffee?"
"Usually one or five pound packages depending on how much you drink. The beans are roasted and ground there in the store unless you have your own grinder." Nods of satisfaction from the others. The list of coffee varieties available are sent to their PADDs and Josette suspects that a few more varieties will be coming out.
Bronwen nods in satisfaction at the advance copies and the plans for a third book of all new quilts. Mary and Clarinda leaf through the books, they're not all that big quilt fans but this is Josette's work and that makes it different. As if their thoughts had summoned her, she walks through from Thomas's land with the others.
"Everything ready for you to come out?" Calvin asks.
"Oh yes, Josette and the others have been taking good care of the animals, it's too early to tell how the new crops are coming in but just from looking at the full shelves and pallets of bags we can see it will be a good one."
"And you'll have food from the offworld harvests too." Josette says, coming through the living room with a container of books. Bronwen looks at her. "Mine and David's books for the other degrees." She nods in satisfaction as they sort them out and put them in their rooms.
"Do the students get all the books for their degrees at the beginning of the semester?"
"No, when they finish a class they sign up for the next and get the books in the office. Josette, David, and soon the others get their books ahead of time since they've already proved they handle the classes they've chosen for the semester. If David wants to pick up another class during the semester, he can. . .so can Josette." Calvin gives her a 'don't even think it though' look and she snickers. "You're already doing two years in one."
"And I'm bringing out a bunch of teachers from the schools I've been talking to next year." Bronwen says. "They've seen pictures of the university grounds and have an idea what classes they offer, they're looking forward to coming out."
Josette takes Doc out to his dimension when she delivers and picks up, they spend a few weeks there watching the problems before returning back to Haven.
"How is it?"
"Bad. There was a massive power outage in New York before we left and they were expecting a major storm. With all the flooding basements and even some first floors are a thing of the past. Where they can people are building up instead of down."
"Like the places where they put the house up on posts."
"Or like the comics where a Venice type situation in America had the first floor flooded so everybody moved up one floor?"
"Basically. Those landlords who were too cheap to clean moldy apartments had to live in them."
"Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of assholes. I'm sure there have been health problems from all the mold."
"There's a lot of people with compromised immune system from that, the flooding, and the recurring illnesses."
"Are governments cracking down on pollution now?"
"Oh yes, everybody who poo-poo'd global warming now are among the more ardent supporters of trying to fix their mess."
"Trying to jump on the moving horse long after the barn has burned down." Josette snickers. "We had a bunch of them start whining after the winters got so bad. The whiners who didn't like the idea of mandatory recycling, alternative energy, cleaning up contaminated sites, or growing areas changed their tunes after everything got so bad. Of course these were the same whiners who while they might not have been friends of humanity didn't disagree with their actions, until it affected them." Nods from the others.
After the Harvest Festival Josette starts bringing the new students out and nearly four weeks into the new semester she sighs as she drops into a seat at the pizza parlor with three plates in front of her. A voice chuckles behind her as a bottle of Haven Dew is put in front of her and Professor Ziegler sits down across from her with his own.
"Is this all the students?"
"Yes. Next year the dorms will be full. I can't believe it. The school's been open again nearly twenty years. Seems like yesterday Granda and the others were coming out and looking over our school."
"We forget how long time has passed."
The first testing week Josette heads to the testing center with the boys and Susan.
"Coming in in a couple weeks, I'll be getting in two harvests a week for a bit. The harvests will be done just before ours start coming in."
"Congratulations on finishing another degree. Is that it for a while?"
"I'm starting the fourth year for a degree on the Green Hornet from Montague, but that's it. And that's the first of a three degree set so it really doesn't count." Dr. McNider chuckles. "Did you pass along the information from Thomas's world to the other dimension?"
"Yes, they really like the idea of a city ship."
"Okay, this is probably a little personal but why haven't they brought out orphans from the other dimensions . . ."
"They talking about it it but the existence of other dimensions is a carefully kept secret. Once they're rebuilding they will be. The first thing that is going to have to be taken care of is the electrical, water, and sewage systems. They're planning on two more cities, one on the moon under a dome and one on Earth eventually."
"Is the Mars city shielded from dust storms?"
"Yes, they have a shield that comes up automatically when the weather satellite and probes detect storms.
"They'd need a place to stay while they're rebuilding."
"And places for the children, plus more services. Forms of entertainment. . ." Dr. Stark says. Josette nods. "They have the plans we made when we came out to work from." The others nod in satisfaction.
Susan comes over a few minutes later.
"Did you look at the notes on your paper?"
"Yeah, some of them I ignored completely since that wasn't the focus of the paper." Dr. Stark sighs but nods. "I've made the corrections necessary and plan on uploading it to the server next summer.
"Are you going on for a doctorate?"
"Maybe, but not right away." Susan says. "If I go on that will give me time to work on my dissertation. I'm not as bad as Josette starting the thesis while I'm still taking the bachelors. . ." The others snigger.
"Nobody really has to go from degree to degree to degree anymore." Dr. McNider says. The others nod. "We've all got plenty of other things to do."
"And they're not needed for the job anymore."
"Going out when we make the trips after Thanksgiving, no use making two trips out. The only one I will be going out is the school midterms to pick up the school order and take in recycling."
Back at the dorm Josette shivers as the furnace comes on. She looks at David. "We're expecting a storm tonight. As you can see, it's already turning colder."
Josette shakes her head and pulls on a sweatshirt as the twins come back from checking on the animals.
"Everybody under shelter for the night?"
"Yep, they'll have to get used to being in during the winter. We put in enough food for two weeks in case it lasts longer than they say it's going to." The ones that had been offworld looks at them. "Cold, wet, nasty rain that's supposed to last through the end of the week. Rain every day."
"Won der ful. But we can't expect beautiful weather all the time." Alexander sighs. The others nod. They detour to the front of the dorm to grab extra blankets to put on their beds and put on thicker socks or warmer shoes. It's raining by the time they're done eating and they take the tunnels back to the dorm, seeing most of the students and teachers doing the same.
Back at the dorm Josette and the others get the babies ready for bed as the older kids work on homework or get in a couple university lessons. It's quiet in the dorm the next few days, everybody catching up on stuff that's needed to be done in the dorm or working on special orders or stuff for shows. It finally begins warming up again and the barns are opened for the animals as the coops are brought back out. The hens had started laying and Josette washes the eggs, putting them in the trays before coming back to the dorm.
"All the animals out?"
Midterms Josette takes the last of the student belongings back to the school, dropping off the recycling and picking up supplies before spending a few weeks on Earth. As she'd expected, most of the recycling she'd brought back she takes care of and brings a good chunk of clothes, paper, and glass back with her.
"Get everything done on Earth?" President Bartlett asks at the meeting when she comes back.
"Yeah, I gotta break up some glass for the blowers after lunch. And make a batch of recycled paper this week, the pulp's probably about ready to walk away by itself." Snickers from the others around her. "I gotta check with the others to see how they're on raw materials, Thomas wants me to mine more asteroids when I'm out there, probably for material for the new cities."
"Print job starts after the Lights Festival. Should last two years, I've got six books to start with and a dozen more in various stages." Principal Madison nods in satisfaction.
After the meeting Josette heads to Sue's store, nodding at the few women in there that weren't working in the big building and heads upstairs. Sue nods as she comes downstairs. "I was going to tell you we were running low on old clothes for the quilts. Everybody's been stocking up since this has been a cool fall and going to be even worse come winter." Josette nods. "Yep, that storm we had was just a taste of yet to come I'm afraid."
Josette makes a note on her PADD to bring out more worn out clothes and they make a date to work on them then heads to the bakery before going to the dorm. After lunch she heads to the paper mill, starting the work needed to make a batch of paper from the pulp and joining the others at dinner.
"Get the paper done?"
"Yeah, I got a couple batches out of the pulp. I gotta clean the containers tomorrow."
At the end of the week the pulp containers are clean and waiting to be filled again and two batches of paper cut and put away to be used.
"Is that it for the pulp?"
"No, I've got a batch upstairs for my paper that I gotta work on this weekend." Josette says.
Josette looks at the sheets of paper drying on racks in satisfaction that eighth day, the pulp containers are washed and ready to be used again and there's enough for both shows plus a little extra. Wiping her arms she puts her shirt back on and goes downstairs for dinner.
"Get everything done?"
"Yeah, the containers are dry and I'll start another batch of pulp soaking after Thanksgiving."
The rest of the semester flies by and soon Josette is going off to Archimedes with the boys and Susan, having split off a few dozen duplicates to help with the harvests. By the end of the week Josette's brought out the recycling, delivered more plastic for the growing buildings on the 10th planet, and delivered wheat and rice to the sorting planet for flour for both Haven and the 10th planet.
"Get everything done?" President Bartlett asks as Josette slides into her seat at the government building.
"Wheat and rice on the sorting planet for both Haven and the 10th planet. Recycling dropped off or on the ships for the other dimensions. Orders on the ships for the other dimensions. I'll be picking up supplies for both the orders and us or the 10th planet while I'm there. A batch of supplies for the growing buildings went out to the 10th planet and I'm sure the others will be 'tweaking' the buildings." Chuckles from the others.
Thanksgiving comes and afterwards Sophia, Summer, Hannah, and Ian are all hugged by their brothers, sisters, Moms, and Dads like they're never going to be seen again instead of talking to them at least once a week.
"The kids head to the fourth planet?" Calvin asks as Josette brings in socks after delivering the other orders. They're in his office as the students at his school head home for Christmas while the graduating students compare schools and classes.
"Yeah, they headed off to the fourth planet before we came out. Damian and the others are going to be talking to GD about their internships over the next couple of years. Thomas is bringing out some of the stuff they've been working on on earth for special projects before they bring out Drake, Wayne, and both Daytons."
"How's the death rate over there?"
"Picking up, people who were alive during WWII have been dying off for years but now . .." Calvin nods. "Those baby boomers who were born after the war are growing old. Young people don't want to take care of old people but . . ."
"Who's going to take care of them when they're old?"
"Exactly. I'm going to be scanning Earth from space when we arrive to get an accurate total of how many people are still alive over there. The communist countries are still throwing up walls to get any accurate information out of them."
Josette and the others work on the recycling when they're not decorating their house for the holiday. The girls head to Vegas to play the slots and place bets in the betting room.
A few weeks later Brigadoon lifts off again, the students and employees spending the hour trip back to Haven talking about everything they'd been doing over the break. The students head to the auditorium to have their bags inspected and Josette lifts off again after everybody is off. They return several months later their time.
"Did you get the mining done you wanted?" Doc asks as he looks around the door.
"Yeah, for both dimensions." Josette laces her fingers together and stretches backwards over the back of the couch. "Going to be snow by dinner, this time it will stick." Doc nods, it had already snowed twice already but had melted within a couple days.
After lunch everybody heads upstairs to start working in the growing area, planting seeds in trays in the greenhouse or aquaponics area or sowing directly in the growing area.
Once everything's in they head to the first planet for a few weeks, enjoying the sun and sand.
"Is this the wood for the mushrooms?"
"Yeah, when I come out to plant I'll move the logs to the ship where it will soak for a while then I'll bring them out and inoculate the wood."
Josette slides into her seat at the government building a couple days after they've returned to Haven.
"Did you get the chance to count the population in Thomas's world?"
"Yeah, and it's worse than we thought, some countries have already lost a quarter to a third of their population according to the last records they had. I'm expecting some of the governments are only hanging on so long because of how many people they had working for them. Nobody knows how many people have been lost in the countries that didn't have accurate censuses or didn't share that information. Now that they have that information though the Justice League can make periodic sweeps of the Earth to get an idea how fast they're losing people."
"How the hell did they lose so many in so short a time? It hasn't been five years yet for us."
"Wars, crime, famine, accidents, suicides, and simple old age. You don't realize how many people die every day except in huge incidents that make the news because there's so many people being born every day." The others nod. "They're starting to do a lot of urban renewal. . .the Justice League is taking apart old buildings before they finally collapse and salvaging anything good. If the ground can handle it, people are coming in and building community gardens like they used to have on the news."
"Good, the more they clean up their acts now the less has to be taken care of at the end. I know the communists won't do it."
Josette snorts. "Hell no, China was building another 'model' city hoping for foreign investment."
"For Christ's sake. . .don't they already have an empty city?"
"Yep. They're still convinced somehow they'll pull mankind's ass from the fire and they'll need the space for workers when everybody bows and scrapes to them." Josette snorts. "I see being called out with the Justice League to clear out entire countries when the end comes. They're not the only ones, North Korea tried taking over South Korea and got their asses handed to them, so they're pouting."
"Sounds familiar. Russia?"
"Trying to keep the former soviet states under their thumb and not having any luck. Nobody's believing his propaganda about how of 'course' they're going to be having children, everybody else is just lying. People are seeing the days with no children being born going on and on and on and Russia's scrambling to try to keep the people believing his bullshit."
"Cuba's gone, what the flooding didn't take out the diseases caused by the bad water and sewage did. The other communist countries are just as bad, they've all lost a good half of their population. They're not the only ones to have taken a hit, just the worst off."
"The others didn't stick their fingers in their ears going la la la la la I can't hear you." Doc snorts.
"Well yah," President Bartlett snorts in a good impression of Josette's 'duh' tone that has the others sniggering. "If they have to accept help, it means communism isn't the be all, end all and they can't have that." He turns serious. "They'd let their populations all die rather than be seen as weak."
"Okay, changing the subject from things we can't help. Growing buildings on the 10th planet?"
"I picked up the third batch of plastic from the factory at finals, they're started putting everything up."
"And Dad and the others will be out to inspect them." Principal Madison chuckles. His eyes grow dark for a second and the coffee cup in his hand floats across the room to be filled at the station in the wall.
"On track to be coming out finals first semester." The others nod in satisfaction. "I sent some of what Wayne and Drake has been working on various places after we came back." Doc nods, he was one of them.
Back at the dorm Josette heads to her candy factory, making a couple dozen batches of candy and chocolates over the next several days, putting the candy in stasis when she's finished.
Josette sighs and takes a sip from her bottle of pop in the Albatross Nest, her plates on her lap or the floor next to her.
"Josette, books?" Frances asks after the kits and cookies have been passed out.
"The printing operation starts up again after the Lights Festival, it will be in operation for two years for the six books already completed, by then some of the others I have started will be on the printing list."
"Is Bronwen bringing out some people from the schools she's associated with?" Suzie asks.
"How long until the cooking teachers start going back?"
"About six years, the next batch of teachers is coming out in four years, that gives them a couple years to get settled and an idea of what type of students they'll be getting and what the others have been teaching." The others nod in satisfaction.
Josette puts everything away when she gets back to the dorm, finding the others upstairs in the growing area. David is in the aquaponics section, feeding the fish and checking the size of the bivalves.
"We gotta pick next year." He nods and puts the clam back in the tank. Soon everything is finished and they head to lunch. Shaking off the snow back at the dorm they talk to Damian and the others about their university degrees and plans for the next summer.
"Josette says there's been a lot of deaths?" Doc asks after the others have arrived for the Lights Festival. They'd gone to Headquarters after the others had gone to bed.
"Yes, we didn't realize just how many until Josette did the count for us. Oh we knew there were deaths but not that many."
"Just like we knew there was deaths in the communist countries but not how bad it was until Josette did the count for us either." 10th planet Doc says.
"Was Cuba the only island country . . ."
"To be lost? Yes, the other countries also lost population but they accepted help to rebuild and recover."
"And communism wouldn't dare show weakness."
"Nope, but they'd sure attack if any of the other countries did."
"And sometimes they don't need an excuse."
"Was the mining Josette did enough for the new cities?"
"No, but with the materials we've been collecting when we take down empty buildings and turn the debris into energy the replicators can use we've got enough." Thomas says, silently thanking the younger Doc for turning the conversation away from morbid topics.
"Josette said she'd probably be called out to help when countries have been . . .emptied?"
Thomas nods. "We can take out already empty buildings but. . ."
Those who'd been on harvesting expeditions nod. "It was nearly five hundred years when we were clearing Earths. And that was all thirteen ships, plus the other two."
After the Lights Festival, Hannah and several members of her family head to the 10th planet as Josette talks with the printers. A week later the first day of the new semester Josette slides into her seat at the government building.
"Picking this year, Granda was looking at them before the Harvest Festival. He's wanting us to add a couple more varieties to combine."
"Will the winery handle it?" President Bartlett asks.
Josette snorts. "It's already triple what it was and they want to expand it again for the future. And Alessandro's is just as big. And we planned for the future when we put up the wineries."
"And it wouldn't be for several years."
"Nope, first we gotta select the land, start the vines on the ships, then put up the supports."
"How are the eating grapes?"
"I might be planting more trees in the future. The demand for the oil has been picking up since the cooking classes were introduced." The others look at the sales records and nods.
"Do you have the room?"
"The bottling area was also enlarged." Principal Madison sniggers, then looks out the window as Josette's eyes grow dark.
"Morning, coming from the other direction and it's going to dump on us." David sends the messages to the others.
"How much food?"
"Better make it five weeks. Three weeks for the storm and two to clear paths."
"Shit." He sends out that information as Principal Madison is doing the same.
At the dorm the others grab their PADDS at the double beep that means priority message and head off. Susan sticks her head through the door to Headquarters, seeing Bethany already on the computer. She nods at her and Susan heads to the front of the dorm to add a couple empty batteries to the rack as the twins head to Thomas's land and the boys head to the ranch. The chickens were already in their barn and they can program the feeders and cleaners from their PADDS but it still takes a couple hours to get the horses, cows, and pigs inside. Looking at the time they head to the dining hall, finding the others there.
"All the animals in?"
"Yeah, they went in without a fuss."
"Did anybody need to come out?"
"No, everybody's got plenty of supplies and once they get their stock inside they're going to be hunkered down until it blows over."
It's dark by the time they come out of dinner and they take the tunnels along with the students and employees. At the dorm Josette heads upstairs to the growing area, checking the plants and the list of what needs to be transplanted.
The wind's picking up by the time they go to bed and it's still dark when they head to breakfast the next morning. The doors are pushed open to keep them from being blocked multiple times a day over the next three weeks and they get in classes or watching tv shows and movies, reading books, or sleeping.
"How is it on Haven?" Dr. McNider asks when she slides into her seat at the tables.
"Stopped storming this morning, I've got a half-dozen other selves clearing off the solar panels at the school, on the other continent, and the major places in town."
"Are you going to be able to catch up on your cooking and musical instruments degrees?"
"Cooking block was rescheduled until after they're dug out. Edinborough and Assyrian are used to having to work around storms and we got plenty of time to makeup everything. If not . . .we'll go over a semester." The three men nod in satisfaction. "It's not like you *need* to keep to the schedule."
"No we don't."
Josette absorbs her other selves when they return to the dorm, working on a quilt for a couple hours before dinner.
"How's everything in the growing area?" Susan asks as Josette dices vat meat, shrimp, and veggies for a seafood chowder the next morning.
"Good, the seedlings are beginning to poke up, a couple weeks and we'll be able to transplant them." They wave as they see the boys taking turns with the snow blower clearing a path around the dorm as maintenance handles the rest of the school.
"Did you open the barns?"
"Yeah, they all looked at the snow outside and settled back down." Susan chuckles, the dogs had wanted to be out as soon as it had stopped snowing, that had lasted five minutes before they wanted back inside.
The paths are cleared and the animals let out for a few hours fresh air during the day. Midterms Josette heads to the other dimensions, picking up supplies and dropping off empty cargo containers and socks at the school.
"I hear you had a bit of a blow?" Jane asks after the socks are counted.
"Yep, about ten feet of snow in some areas, wet heavy stuff that even the snowblowers have problems with, let alone shovels. It took us two weeks to get everything cleared out after it stopped snowing so the orders might be a little late."
Calvin chuckles. "You deliver early so it doesn't matter. The cooking blocks?"
"Delayed until after everybody was dug out. Assyrian and Edinborough are used to bad storms and we can make up the classes nights, weekends, or even go another semester."
"None of the classes really need to keep to a schedule." The secretary holds up a hand and turns up the radio she had playing low on her desk, a news announcement about a court case getting feral grins from the other three. Josette looks at them.
"This involved one of our students, she's the only survivor of an attack in her home. . .some stupid drunk fool of a woman broke into the apartment and massacred them all since she was out of her mind on drugs and alcohol. She was thrown in rehab until she could stand trial, then thought that because she was 'troubled' when it happened she shouldn't have to stand trial. Stupid bitch had somebody forge paperwork getting her out and she went back to work, then she got drunk and stupid after she got a promotion. The police were called and she went to a holding cell this time. The whole 'shouldn't she be in jail awaiting a trial?' blew up on the news because the rehab place and police are taking turns throwing up their hands saying it's not our fault and pointing the fingers at each other."
"Sounds familiar." Josette snorts.
"She finally went on trial and was given life just now. The forged paperwork led back to the hospital she was a doctor at. . ."
"Oh come on, I know there's a shortage of doctors but really. . ."
"Yeah, nobody can explain that. They tried lowballing Cassie in the civil suit but got their asses handed to them by the media because they'd tried keeping her out of rehab."
"For fuck's sake. . .why?"
Calvin shrugs. "So now they're whining about the multi-billion dollar judgment they have against them. This is just the third lawsuit that got settled against them, they tried suing a former employee who left and took his research grants with him when he didn't get the job she was given. . .they tried to force him to come back and hand over the money because it was a good chunk of money for them. They were counting on that money for their pet projects."
"And a third lawsuit was settled against them when they kept a young employee who'd been promised a full scholarship from receiving it, they refused to turn the paperwork in in time so it went to one of their family members."
"I wouldn't want to go to that hospital, I'm afraid they'd kill me by accident."
"They're bleating about how it's not their fault. . ." the secretary snorts. "The entire board of directors was fired and if they can prove that they were behind trying to keep her out of prison, they'll be charged. They're howling because she lost her license to practice medicine. She shouldn't be punished like that."
Josette rolls her eyes. "Yeah, it's a good thing the whole board was removed. Maybe people with some brains will be put in charge. They figured on her continuing to work for them even after being sentenced to life?"
"But if we hire a new doctor, he'll want more money than we're willing to pay." the secretary bleats. "If we keep her around, we don't have to pay her as much. She can't complain, she's supposed to be in jail."
"Exactly. And who cares about the real victim."
Josette heads back to Haven a few weeks later, breathing in the clean, if cold, air on Vallejo's pier as she delivers containers to various places.
"Doc's orders?" President Bartlett asks when Josette comes into the meeting room at the government building. Detouring to the wall unit, she dials up a cup of hot cocoa.
"Going out our third testing week." She settles in her usual seat. "The orders for Calvin should be ready at the normal time. I told him we might be delivering late and he said that was fine, we deliver early." The others nod.
"I'm there right now for mushrooms, green picked peppers and tomatoes, and enjoying the sun." The others chuckle.
"On track to be coming out just after we've planted the spring crops." The others nod.
The rest of the semester flies by and Josette's sitting on the top of one of the barns when buildings start appearing on Thomas's land. Alex looks out the front door of Wayne Manor and grins, opening his jacket as he walks outside.
"How far are we in the year?" Thomas asks as Josette slides down the ladder.
"Next week is the end of fourth month. All the spring crops were planted last week." Josette knows the PADDS are being updated right now. Josette's introduced to the others that hadn't been on Haven yet and they tear themselves away from opening windows and staring up at the sky.
"I brought three of them out, plus wagons. They're in the equipment building. The most common places are already in the flyer database, they're also in the tesseract database."
Josette goes into Wayne Manor and they talk for several hours, through a magnificent lunch.
"Miss Josette, does anybody grow mushrooms?"
"Yes, we've got a building in town, we usually grow four or five different varieties. I've been experimenting with growing in wood on the first planet, and we've got kits available where you can grow your own." Alfred nods in satisfaction. Josette frowns a second. "I think the others want to add a mushroom area to the dorm." Thomas chuckles.
"Does anybody grow herbs commercially?"
"Yeah, one of the greenhouses in Town is herbs, it split off the main one when they needed the additional space. They grow most of the common herbs, you can buy packets of them at the store in Town or at the Harvest Festival, the list is on the server. You've got a growing area already set up with the common cooking and medicinal herbs." She points to one of the buildings. Thomas and Alfred nod in satisfaction.
Josette heads back to let them start sorting out the supplies they either brought out with them or had waiting, from many spring cleanings she expects blankets and other stuff to be hung out on the lines to air out. Back at the dorm she joins the others walking to dinner. Principal Madison catches her eye in the screen from the front room and she nods.
"Getting settled in?"
"Yeah, they were sorting out their supplies when I came back."
"How are they handling meals while they're busy settling in?"
"I get the idea they either made large batches of stuff and froze it or brought meals from the stores that prepared everything." Nods from the others. "Eating at least one meal together means they can make plans. I think beyond bringing out supplies, spring cleaning will be their first tasks. They were already opening windows while I was there."
Josette comes back from picking up the recycling and delivering flour, noodles, and pasta to the store and the 10th planet to find Thomas and Doc looking over something in the living room.
"Get everything taken care of?"
"Yep, the recycling is in, I'll take Doc's back when I take back his orders before the festival. Flour and noodles are in the store and on the 10th planet, I delivered wheat and rice for the 8th and 9th planets. . ." Doc nods. "Last batch of plastic was dropped off for the 10th planet growing areas."
"Recycling and orders for Calvin's world?"
"On the ship, we'll be going out this weekend. Getting settled in?"
"Yes, it's rather like moving except. . ."
"Picking up and moving your house like you see them do on the news, you're still settling in even if you've lived in that house for years."
"Exactly. Alfred and the others are wandering through town getting settled in. We're sorting through the containers...what happens when they're empty?"
"I can take them back if there's a need or they can be recycled."
"I'll have to talk to the others, they're good on raw materials right now but . .."
"They can be used to store stuff as things get worse out there. I'm sure some on Earth are only good for recycling."
"Are factories beginning to ramp down production?"
"Hell no, that would make sense." Josette snorts. Thomas chuckles but nods. "No, most people aren't seeing the big picture and still going on business as usual. I fully expect to see big manufacturers suing to make their usual customers buy their products when they still have warehouses full of the last order that hasn't sold."
"Josette, you said the possibility of more olives?"
"Yeah, I've got the trees started on the ship."
"More wine grapes?"
"A few years. We're talking which grapes we want to grow, find the land, start the vines, and put up the supports."
"New wine vines?"
"Picking them this year, the wine will age for a couple years before it can be bottled. I think the cheesemakers will be buying that and the cider by the barrel." Doc nods.
"Is the cider house big enough?"
"Yeah, that was enlarged too. Part of the work Granda and the others did before the dairy came up." Doc nods in satisfaction.
"Josette. . .Sausage?" Alan asks down the hall.
"I gotta check the supply, but I figure probably next year."
"Did you get caught up on your cooking and musical instruments degrees?"
"Cooking and musical instruments?"
"Assyrian offers four year cooking degrees. They're not a cooking school but. . " Josette's voice trails off as Thomas nods. "About fifteen years ago now we started offering ten week blocks of cooking classes through the cooks that Granda brought out. They stay ten years, we're actually on the second batch of teachers and a third batch is coming out in about three more years, not counting this one. You don't get a degree like Assyrian but you get a good solid base on various types of cooking. They're really good at working with the students, scheduling classes during the other planets winters so they can take classes and splitting the class sessions for the students who cook for a living. The early blocks are on the server." Thomas nods in satisfaction.
"The musical instruments is a specialty degree through Edinborough, after the first four year class that deals with the history of music and whatnot, the later four year degree specialize on individual instruments and you making your own. There's always a handful of us taking them, Sherlock, Buckaroo, some of his associates. . ."
Eighth day David opens the tesseract for the students and employees as Josette starts delivering orders, recycling, and empty containers. She joins the others at the house an hour later.
"Get everything delivered?"
"Yep, and we've got some more personal stuff to bring back as well as the school supplies." Josette says.
"Thomas on Haven?" James asks when the others start arriving the next day.
"Yep, arrived just over two weeks ago. They're settling in well, going through the supply containers I brought up and what came up with them."
"Doc's growing buildings?" Hannah asks.
"I picked up the last order from the plastics factory a few days ago. They'll be complete when you come up." She nods in satisfaction and continues helping Principal Madison with his exercises.
Over the next few weeks Josette takes care of the recycling and does some shopping. David opens the tesseract and the students and employees walk through back on Haven, the students heading to the auditorium to have their bags checked before they head back to their dorms. Josette heads to the admin building to get her books for her degree from the other dimension before going back to the dorm.
"Is CJ working on a masters?"
"No, he's taking at least a year off." Everybody sniggers at David's grumbling.
"Did Alex, Jason, and Tim sign up for classes at Edinborough, Assyrian, or Montague?"
"Yep." Josette grins. "Alfred's on the list for one of the cooking blocks."
"Are they planning on starting more gardens beyond the communal garden?"
"They'd already started them before they came up." The others snicker. "They're going to be extra busy harvesting."
After Josette's show in the other dimension the crops start coming in and like the others had said, Thomas and his family and friends are busy. They look up and blink as a half-dozen Josette's come into the room.
"Take a break, I got this covered for a couple hours." Nobody has to be told twice and sit outside in the fresh air. Thomas will be talking to Josette later though. Ma and Alfred are the first ones to go back inside and they talk quietly to a couple of Josettes as more come past the building from working on the field crops. Pa looks in at the Josettes working in the kitchen, the ones he'd been working with all day in the fields, and shakes his head.
"I thought I knew a lot working on the farm but they have me beat."
"We've been working crops on Haven nearly a hundred years. I swear they go from green to go overnight." Josette chuckles as she tastes the corn and tomato soup that had been simmering on the burners. "Needs salt." Ma takes the spoon and nods. Stirring it in they taste again and start ladling it into jars Clark has scalded and brought over, turning them upside down on a towel on a nearby table to set the lids. Soon all the jars are moved to the first room and everybody washes up to get ready for morning, sighing in relief when another crew of Josettes has food waiting for them on the picnic tables.
"The communal kitchens do a lot of work when the crops are coming in. Not just on Haven, on the 9th and 10th planets too." Josette chuckles. "I've got you down for food deliveries twice a day for the next two weeks."
"I can see why, unless you have enough people to make meals, work on the crops coming in, and can you don't really want to work in a kitchen all day then come home and make a meal. But that's why they invented slow cookers." Nods from the others. Tara looks stricken for a second and Josette pats her hand.
"Everything is vegetarian, all the meat is vat raised. It looks and tastes like real meat but it's soybean based. Think the veggie burgers back on Earth but actually tasting good and good for you."
"Is all the meat soybean based?" Ma asks.
"Most of it. If it's real meat it will be marked." Tara smiles and begins filling her plate. "Is Tofu available?"
"On the replicator since we don't have the machinery to make it without bringing out factories. Same with yogurt, cream cheese, and sour cream. We've got tons in stasis on the ships yet."
"How often do you eat real meat?"
"Mostly in the cookouts after the third harvest, we invite family and friends and have two cooking pits, one of the vat raised meat and one of real meat. Fish and seafood is real since we've got the fish farms, we make batches of real meat sausages when we make sausages but again they're marked as real meat."
Thomas had taken a quiet picture of the multiple Josettes flitting around and sent it off to Doc, getting a chuckling e-mail back.
"Can I ask how long?" Thomas waves a hand at the multiple Josettes.
"Decades. That's how I can handle the gardens and crops coming in when the others are off on Archimedes taking their finals or working when the last crops are coming in. Not that I'm not there with them taking my own finals but. . ." Josette grins. "I've generally got a half-dozen of my other selves off somewhere every day, that's one of the reasons I can take so many classes on so many systems."
"You're actually taking the classes at the same time." Alex says after swallowing. Josette nods. "You get everything back after . . . "
"I join with my other selves? Yep. And our gift helps all the extra memories slot into place."
"How do you . . ."
"I split off energy duplicates. This way my pregnancies aren't affected. And I've got a half-dozen getting the fields and garden ready for planting in the spring when I'm too big to see my feet anymore."
"Does everybody else know?"
"Tenth planet Doc and Pat found out after the babies were born, Pat was wondering how I didn't look pregnant on an offworld trip to a supplier but gave birth to triplets less than a month later yet I was picking up for Pat and Bethany. I'm not sure about Calvin and the others, but everybody else does. The 9th planet people realized I could split off duplicates when I had to bring all the ships off planet, plus Clark's ship and mine when I got the news of a lost Earth to harvest." The dishes are washed up and Josette heads back to the dorm, 'flipping' the covered trays back to the communal kitchen. The others smile and thank Josette as they fill the last dishwasher load for the night as they start making plans for the next day's meals.
The next two weeks has the rest of the gardens and crops in, a husking party a few weeks later as the corn is removed and put in bags with the cobs and stalks either going in the silo for animal feed or in the case of the kids being saved on drying tables to be used in smoking meats. Thomas had blinked at seeing the cobs on drying tables but when he heard why they were saving them he'd nodded.
Josette comes though, heading upstairs to her workroom, a new area being filled with boxes of books.
"Is that the first one?" David asks.
"Yeah, the second one will be finished after the Harvest Festival with the third one just before the Lights Festival thanks to the storm delaying everything. It's not like they're needed right away." Thomas looks at them. "Josette's new quilting book. She's got four out already."
"This is the first of six books the printers are working on this year and next. I'll have a few more books ready to print when these six are done."
"Are these the only books you've printed?"
"Nope, we've printed cookbooks too. They're on sale at the store while the quilting books are at the fabric stores."
"Next year, probably the third or fourth week of the semester. The delay thanks to the storm changed the plans for a signing party after the book came out."
"Storm?" Thomas asks.
"Every couple of years or so, we get a storm coming out of the west that brings wet, heavy snow by the bucketful. Usually we get them between Thanksgiving and the Lights Festival, this year we got it the first day of the school year. The storm lasts weeks, we usually have a day's advance warning thanks to Josette's gift of being a weather witch. We've been updating the probes to give us a second source of information but everybody hunkers down, only those places that have to be open stay open. On Haven it's the school since the tunnels connect everything, On Archimedes it's GD or rather the infirmary." Thomas nods. "Is that why the barns all have automatic cleaners and feeders?"
"Yep, we get all the animals in and dial up enough food for the storm plus at least two weeks extra since it will take at least a week to dig out even with the snow blowers."
"How do you handle electricity?"
"We bring out extra batteries to plug into the panel to charge before the storm so we have extras. The alternate energy is set to take over if we have something that will drain the batteries when the solar panels are sending power or when the batteries fall below a certain percentage." Josette looks around. "In addition we have a turbine on the other continent with boxes on building that need uninterrupted power. The boxes get the electricity without the need for wires."
"Does everybody know about this?"
"Nope, we want people to be self-sufficient and most of the early settlers were very familiar with the problems we had with the power grid. Everybody stocks up on candles, even the houses and apartments with solar panels shut off the lights to keep from draining the batteries. Even when they know the batteries will be charging the next morning."
"And once the solar panels are covered?"
"Every house or apartment has their own batteries and an exercise bike to charge them. Charge them enough to keep the heaters running for a few hours and crawl in bed. Bringing out the wood helped out a lot, now we have a steady source of heat during the bad winters."
"Fake wood created by GD." Josette brings out a log and hands it over to Thomas. He grunts. "Heavy."
"Yes, it's about half again the weight of a real piece of wood that size. It burns for a week, putting out no smoke but enough heat to keep a four or five room house in the sixties if you keep the doors open if there's no vents." Thomas gets an interested look on his face. "Can you add more wood to get more heat?"
"Yes, most everybody adds a smaller stick to bring up the heat during storms, otherwise it's run the small ceramic heaters for a couple of hours to warm rooms before bed."
"No, they'd both drain the solar panels and/or batteries and there's no use keeping a building warm if there's not going to be anybody there during the day." Thomas nods. "The turbine?"
"Is generally used during times when we have a heavy power need like harvests and during bad storms. It generally runs at least a week, if it's needed longer it's set off again. Otherwise the turbine rolls to a stop."
"How do the apartments burn it?"
"In the stoves you'd see on patios. Even the ash burns, it's totally non-polluting." Thomas is impressed. "GD invented it years ago but it sat on the shelf like a lot of stuff they didn't know what to do with. We regulate the amount of trees that can be cut down, this works wonders instead."
"Can you cook with it?"
"Yep, the Amish use in their cookstoves especially over the winter since a fire's already going. We cook over it on the beach during our cookouts and we have it in the pits when we have a clambake. Dousing the wood with water instantly puts it out, in fifteen minutes it's cool enough to be handled, in an hour it can burn again. You can't really bake with it, it would take multiple logs and you'd be taking them out whenever you were done. The Amish have a communal kitchen like we have, they make enough dough for a week worth of baked goods and take it to the kitchen to be baked."
"Are the schematics for the boxes available?"
"Talk to Renny and Long Tom, with a few hints from Brainy they invented them."
"Is available on the replicator, we use the large scale one for that. Everybody gets in their orders during their late summer and it's delivered in the fall."
They head off for the other show, coming back six weeks later in time for the yearly crops and then the second harvest to start coming in. This time nobody's surprised to see a dozen Josettes helping out in the fields, gardens, and summer kitchen.
"Calvin and the others came out earlier?" Thomas asks. He figures he's talking to the 'original' Josette as it were since the others don't eat and she was sitting down at the tables with them with a plate of food.
"Yeah, they wanted to do some work on the ranch and dorm. . ." the others snigger at Josette's bland tone, they'd all seen the antebellum mansion and gothic castle with enclosed courtyard. "Bronwen is bringing out some of the teachers from the textiles schools she's associated with to look over Assyrian and Edinborough, the suppliers we've got here and on the other planets, and the stores. And they're also working on Doc's growing buildings on the 10th planet."
Thomas, Clark, and Josette head back to the other dimension a few days before the Harvest Festival, getting deliveries of mail and supplies before the population is checked again. Josette sighs as Thomas shakes his head.
"I figure by the time we come out after Thanksgiving at least one of the smaller countries will be lost."
Thomas nods. "Smaller populations and only one. . .two at the most settlements."
"The US, Canada, England, France, and other larger countries will be the last ones to lose their populations. Only because they're larger and there's communities scattered from one coast to another."
Thomas nods as they talk to the Watchtower and Mars then head back to Haven.
"How is it?" Doc asks in Headquarters after the kids have gone to bed.
"Bad, Josette said she expects at least one of the smaller countries to be gone by the time we come back after Thanksgiving. I agree, island countries have already seen a massive population loss."
"And the smaller European countries didn't have that large of a population to begin with." The others there nod.
Josette heads off to the other dimensions the next day, the meeting is repeated for Doc the next night.
"Yes and no, some areas are recovering. Water and sewage treatment plants are failing though, and you already know about the problems with the power grid."
Doc nods. "We lived through it. Luckily we didn't have the problems with the water and sewage your world is having."
"People know they're needed and governments are passing millages for new treatment plants but it's going to take years before everything will be back and people are still dying, either from the epidemics caused by the bad water or the volcanoes and earthquakes."
"And until that dies down, the areas affected can't rebuild."
"Are down to under a third of their original population." The others shake their heads.
"So what do you think of Haven?"
"The textiles universities are wonderful, I love how the classes are small so there's individual attention and there's no lack of teachers for classes at the stores. I wasn't sure how they could handle as many students as they do but everybody works together, don't they?"
Bronwen nods. "Suzie from Assyrian is Agatha's daughter. Even if there wasn't the family relationship, they've all been friends for decades. Josette was introduced to Agatha and her friends at the Albatross Nest after Josette got interested in knitting and sewing. Suzie was telling her mother about this marvelous student she had while meanwhile Agatha was telling her daughter about a new seamstress that the Covington girls had brought home." Bronwen's friends snicker. "It wasn't until Josette got to talking about how the twins were home for a few weeks during the summer and had been working on the kits, bringing her home boxes of stuff that the penny dropped and Suzie realized her student and Agatha's youngster were the same person. Back then the school didn't have a textiles curriculum but it was added a couple years later. Suzie and Sandra came to the school, Agatha came to the school. Teachers from Assyrian came out to talk to the fine arts and textiles teachers at the school, then they talked to the students. When Josette started taking classes from Edinborough teachers came out and toured Assyrian, then later they toured the school. By the time everybody came up to Haven they were all friends."
"How do they handle classes?"
"The textiles buildings at the school, the stores, or they take them at the universities. When the orphans were students and they all wanted to take the quilting and knitting classes because they'd need them for the future Josette and the others taught too."
"Do any of the students take textiles classes at the school?"
"A good chunk of them, they all have to take a year of home ec, that gets them interested in the other classes."
"Good, everybody really needs to know how to take care of themselves when they leave home."
"Do they do this every year?" One of Bronwen's guests asks, looking at the tables lining the streets with people walking through town.
"Yep, after the yearly crops and second harvest is in. It lasts three days. There's something new on the tables every day. Everybody who can get away from the other planets attends. Sometimes a new food or a new recipe is introduced."
After the Harvest Festival Josette and the others look at land for the new grape vines and land near town where they can put up the movie screen. Josette heads to the first planet to plant, laying in the sun for a few days before Brigadoon returns to Haven. She's also bringing in the new students and is busy for nearly a month.
"Are the dorms all full now?" David asks as she slumps into a couch one day.
"Until the seniors leave." She leans back in the couch and closes her eyes. David chuckles and heads to his room to get in a couple lessons.
"Did they find the land for the grapes?" Susan asks at dinner.
"Not yet, they're coming out early next year to do the work they want to do. They did find a good area for the outdoor movie area. . .and why do I think we're going to end up with a dive-in movie theater either on the beach, the first planet, or the island?"
"Because we know our families?" David snorts. The others laugh.
The next week Josette, the boys, and Susan head to Archimedes for the first testing week.
"Are Thomas and the others helping out with the offworld harvests?"
"Yeah, Thomas, Dick, and Alex are signed up for the first one, Clark, Jason, and Pa the second that same week, Ma, Kara, Dawn, and Tara the first the next week, with Tommy, Oz, and Tim the second that week."
"They're going to have a surprise, there's a difference between the offworld harvests and even bringing in a communal garden and the home gardens." Vincent chuckles. Josette snickers, her eyes glimmering with humor. "Ain't I a stinker?"
"At least they won't be picking and preparing the same day."
"How are you coming on the degrees you wanted to finish this year?"
"Pretty good, I ended up picking up another semester that I hadn't expected to this summer. I'm got five of the eight classes I needed to finish the degree from over there and four of the six I needed to finish the degree from Montague."
"How did Bronwen's friends like Haven?"
"I think they enjoyed everything. They weren't expecting the large textiles and fine art curriculum at the school."
"Not many do." Dr. Stark chuckles. "Just as most school libraries are a single room, not the whole building." Josette chuckles.
"Going out midterms as usual, also taking out the recycling and the last of the students belongings. Around our third testing week is Christmas break for them. Any last minute deliveries home the students can handle then." Dr. McNider nods in satisfaction. "That should leave them with two bags to bring back, one of clothes and one of books for the classes they're taking right now." Josette nods.
The next few weeks pass, Josette finishing both her degrees and getting a good start on the others until it's time for the first offworld harvest. Thomas shakes his head as the ship lifts off with him, Dick, Alex, and a couple hundred other people. They've been paired with Bruce, Thomas, and CJ as experienced pickers and were sharing a room with them. Brigadoon and Josette had told them their room was soundproof and shielded against the others so they're talking shop. A few days has them settling in, picking, moving boxes to various rooms, or working in the cafeteria. Everybody has at least one day off a week and they take advantage of the water park and movie theaters.
Six long months later Thomas, Dick, and Alex come off the ship, watching a couple dozen Josettes moving the boxes off the ship. They blink at the number of people grabbing them.
"Is this why we weren't preparing food while we were off?" Thomas asks. He'd worried about the food going bad until everybody had assured him the stasis on the rooms would keep everything fresh no matter when it was picked.
"Yep." CJ grins. "There's just as many people canning, drying, or storing the food until it can be handed out as there was picking it. For us, that'sThanksgiving no matter what time of the year the harvests actually come in."
"They don't come in at the same time?" Alex asks.
"Oh no, they get earlier every year thanks to the difference between Haven and the other planet's years, there's years where it's still been winter when we were harvesting. Josette takes the drying tables to the first planet until something set out dries instead of freezes. That was just two years ago."
"That early you could harvest twice." Alex says. CJ nods. "Those years Josette has the robots plant cover crops of rye and barley she picks up in the fall."
Thomas chuckles as he sees most of the people they'd been working with heading one of three places, the temporary housing units for naps, the laundry to wash their clothes, or the communal kitchen to eat. Thomas follows his gaze and laughs as they head off. Alfred tut tuts as Jason grabs their laundry to wash and chivvies them off to hot showers before they have a good meal and nap.
"How was it? I could see the buildings were packed as the food was worked on. The drying tables were packed." Dawn asks.
"It's long work, multiply the communal garden by a thousand. You're working eight to ten hour days in the fields, moving food to rooms on the ship, or cooking for everybody but you've got good breaks, meals are ninety minutes so you're not hurriedly eating then going back to work, and you've got at least one day off a week. There's a water park on the ship that gets a lot of visitors and there's movie theaters to visit after work or on your days off."
"Is everything coming in at once?"
"Nope, you're working in two or three different areas picking what's ripe just like our gardens. It usually takes several days to clear a field, just like the gardens."
"It's everything we've already done, just on a larger scale." Thomas nods. "We were paired with Bruce, CJ, and Thomas, you'll also be paired with experienced pickers. That's how they've done it since the orphans came out. Newbies being paired with more experienced pickers so they don't wear themselves out. And you're not being singled out, everybody works in groups."
Nods of satisfaction from the others. "How is the food moved?"
"People in flyers with wagons attached come around every hour, picking up the full boxes and delivering another supply of empty ones. That way you don't have to stop working, just pile the boxes up and keep going. If you run out before the next turn around you can send out a signal and a special trip is made out to your location. They bring the boxes back to the ship and the others on moving duty take the boxes and put them in rooms. They'll switch out after lunch so everybody's either out in the fields or putting the food away."
"What type of eating arrangements do they have?"
"A large cafeteria. Food is set up buffet style and everybody helps themselves. Tables can hold eight to ten people and there's a good two dozen tables so there's plenty of room to spread out.
Alexander taps on the door of the Manor's living room. "We're getting together a trip to Disneyworld on the third planet, you want in?"
"Disneyworld?" Dawn squeaks.
"No waiting in line hours for the rides. We do it every year when the new students arrive. There's three trips available." The details are sent to their PADDS and they sign up for dates.
"How are you two coming in your Assyrian classes?"
"Good, Joan was glad to hear that we'd both quilted before. The first year is all bookwork, after that we'll have projects. We're also looking at the classes available at the stores, the one on hand sewing they're offering next year is interesting though we're not sure about the idea of an entire quilt sewed by hand." His father starts chuckling. "Yeah, I know Josette was doing just that on the ship after work some nights, sitting sewing on quilt blocks."
Josette is busy tearing strips on the clothes too worn out to be used in quilts over the next few nights, sorting them out by color for braided rugs. Midterms she heads off to Calvin's dimension, dropping off containers in the office after picking up supplies.
"Is this everything?" Jane asks, checking the lists.
"It should be, if not they can bring them home Christmas break." Calvin nods vigorously from his office. "Are you harvesting offworld?"
"Yeah, a couple of weeks now."
"Are you going to Doc or Thomas's worlds?" Calvin waves her into his office.
"Not until after Thanksgiving, no use making two trips so close together."
"Not when you're coming out here three times in as many months." Calvin nods. "How are Thomas and the others settling in?"
"Good, they've been offworld for the harvests and the trips to the third planet." Calvin grins. He makes a mental note to talk to the growing gods about Thomas's land and indoor growing areas. Josette heads off to the house, spending a couple weeks on Earth before heading back to Haven.
Josette looks as the students and employees walk through David's tesseract to the school as she starts delivering empty shipping containers to a yard. More socks are brought out and Josette hands over the files for the books she's finished at Bronwen's look. She nods in satisfaction.
"Be done before the Lights Festival. Agatha is making the arrangements for a signing party sometime next first semester."
"Are the kids enjoying pre-school?" Lady Simone asks. Josette and the others snigger. "Ahhh, like their brothers and sisters 'this is school? This is boring'." Josette nods. "The older set?"
"Were talking to GD about jobs this summer. Next year they'll be looking at intern housing so they know what to bring with them and looking into permanent housing when they're done."
"Are you thinking of more kids in a few years?" Hannah asks. The kids look at each other.
"We've been talking, we've had kids in the dorm for over a hundred years and . . ." Alexander says.
"You're thinking of being empty nesters for a while? Been there, done that." Everybody around them nods.
Four weeks later Earth time David opens the tesseract on Haven and everybody walks through, the students walking to the auditorium to have their bags checked as the kids head back to the dorm.
"Did you bring back recycling?"
"Yeah, I gotta sort through the clothes again." Josette is busy braiding the strips of clothes for rag rugs, looking down at the pile next to her. Ma had come out today to talk to the mill and nods at the pile as Josette reaches the end of the strips and sews them together.
"Do you always braid rugs?"
"It's a use for the clothes that are too worn out to be used in quilts. Oh we've got a factory to make them and we could toss the clothes in the recycle bin to use as raw material for new fabric but. . ."
"It's something you made." Ma says. Josette nods and 'flips' the pile upstairs to the sewing room.. "Josette said that the crops will be coming in when you're off for your finals?"
David nods. "I'm eight classes into a Masters from Calvin's dimension, while Josette finished another bachelors from there. It was from a textiles school and Bronwen brought out visitors from the schools she's familiar with this summer to show everything off. She finished another degree this fall and is working on several more. Susan's four classes from finishing a Masters in history, she's going to be finishing it next year. You uploaded your thesis to the server, right?"
"Yeah, before we went out for the boys show." Susan is loading up the recycling to take to the center in town.
"While the boys will be finishing their second years for a Masters in Art History from Oxford next year. They've already got doctorates in Art History, so does Josette but the others insisted that it would look good for the shows and they'd be able to get them accepted in the other dimensions. Like their original degrees, they're attending different schools so the books are different."
"You should be starting your thesis next year?"
"Yeah, I've been making notes, working on my outline, and got a rough draft started to show my advisor."
"Are you planning on going on dear?"
"Not for a while, it's not a degree that I need, it's one I wanted."
"The rest of you?"
"Finished our latest bachelors a couple years ago. We expect the others to talk to us about starting degrees on the systems David and Josette use." Ma chuckles at Alan's face hangdog look and his sisters pat him on the shoulder in there, there gestures.
"Do you all take turns with the recycling?"
"Recycling, laundry, and other basic chores. The kids start helping out with the laundry when they're old enough to hand up clothespins to the parent or older sibling hanging up clothes. They learn from their parents or older siblings on how to treat stains, separate colors, no throwing everything in one machine then leaving it. . ." Ma snickers. "Until they're thirteen the parents or older siblings do it, then they figure out who's doing it that week. With the larger groups at least two of them are doing laundry." Ma nods in satisfaction. "This way they're more than ready to be on their own after they finish their university degrees." Ma nods in satisfaction before taking the flyer back to their land.
"Get everything taken care of?"
"Yes, the mill will start our batch as soon as they're done with Josette's special order of chickpea flour."
"Chickpea flour?" Pa asks, coming over and wrapping his arms around her. Clark had been worried when she hadn't returned earlier and had listened for her voice, finding her talking to Josette. A quick glance that way with his x-ray vision had found Ma sitting in the dorm talking with the others.
"It's used in gluten-free cooking." Thomas says quietly. Alex nods. "Josette and the others told me they grow the crop every few years, making flour with some of it but most of it goes to Josette's salads. The others give her 'really Josette?' looks when she eats them and edamame beans raw in them because she likes the crunch." The others look at him and he chuckles. "They're like raw brussels sprouts in they cause gas and from what the others have said, she belches and farts for days."
"Anything new?" Doc asks a few days later at the government meeting before the crops start coming in.
"Yeah, hear me out a second." Josette grabs Susan and brings her in. "Hear me out. I was drifting off to sleep last night when I got a bolt out of the blue. Normally I'd just roll over and go to sleep but. . . Susan needs a dissertation topic, we're coming up on the hundredth anniversary of landing on Haven in nine years and nearing a hundred years since we switched to our own calendar in sixteen. A museum or show somewhere with the history of Haven in pictures. There's plenty of pictures on the ships from when I was coming out to build on the land before we came up, the school was a helluva lot smaller. Town was a helluva lot smaller. We came out there was only the three stores, the glassblowers, and a handful of houses. Edinborough, Sherlock, and Hank's woodworkers didn't come out until the fall, that's when we put up the growing buildings."
"Assyrian, Montague, and Balaclava were smaller." Principal Madison says. He's making notes on his PADD.
"The commercial crops didn't go in until after our first winter." President Bartlett says. "Susan can't handle all of this by herself."
"No I figured I'd talk to the historians at GD and some of the teachers. But. . ."
"I can use the notes from everything we're doing for my dissertation." Susan says. Josette sends off the message to Dr. Stark, he'll be moaning at her when he gets the message he's sure.
"Josette, can you contact the universities and find out what they got in the way of pictures?" Doc asks.
"Yeah." Josette sends off the message to the teachers she's most familiar with, they'll talk to the others about how the schools have grown over the years.
"You forget how things have changed." President Bartlett says. Josette nods. "Even if we don't get it in by either of the hundredth anniversaries. . .and yeah, I know it's been longer than that since we stopped using Earth's calendar but. . ."
"A history of how everything has changed should be made. If not a show a history in pictures in books." Josette nods and sends that message off to Dr. Stark, getting a message back immediately. Smirking, she sends out another message.
"Quit tormenting Nathan, that's Carter and Allison's job." Doc chuckles, reading over her shoulder. Cackling, she passes that along and puts her PADD back on her belt.