Imagine: The List
Fic posted by members of Vo's Imaginings YahooGroup



"Exactly, they had the chance to buy the land, the government's been trying to sell it for years according to Granda. But it would have been too much money to clean everything out. They figure to have everything up and running by the time their school closes in two more years. They've already got a list of stores for the shopping area."


"Which is why they're pouting."


"Yep. . .we didn't want it but we didn't want you to make money off it."


Doc shakes his head as Josette brings out the supplies for her classes.


"Is this everything?"


"No, I'll pick up the supplies for three more classes after midterms when these are finished. I'll lack a semester for the comic book degree after the Harvest Festival."


"This is. . .?"


"My third degree, the first two were from Timely comics."


"Marvel before they were Marvel." Richard says walking through and shaking his head. "Two sets of everything. One to read for the classes and one so you can have mint copies of everything when the degree is over. They added a ton of new degrees last year."


"This is the first from National . . .DC comics. Each set is seven degrees, there's another set for smaller comics. These will go up to the hoopla about violence in comics that nearly destroyed the industry. That's twelve degrees. Then we get into the super-hero explosion. And stuff like Archie comics and Harvey. Where the main comics weren't superheroes."


The next few months pass quickly, Josette taking out belongings midterms and bringing out supplies for the school. She'd been busy with the offworld harvests and yearly crops, a group going out to the first planet with her to check on the building when she goes out.


"Is that it for the offworld harvests?"


"No, I have half a dozen more."


Bushels of potatoes and other vegetables start coming in from the farms, being put in the bins down in the basement. The mushroom building had opened and Josette puts mushrooms in the stasis room. The last of the bulk crops are put away and she brings out flour from the seventh planet.


"Is this everything until the second crops start coming in?"


"Yep. Then the third crops go in and after Thanksgiving the food we've been working on in the big building will be passed out."


"Are the crops from the tropics starting to come in?" Alexander asks as he walks through.


"The first ones, they won't be ready to sell for a while though." he nods and brings out a new pail of litter.


"Ha!" Josette looks up from the databurst from Doc's dimension. "In your face twit."


"Do we want to know?"


"That stupid woman who threatened to sue because the millage didn't pass for their master plan for the school. She didn't get her way there either."


"That was stupid." Pat snorts. "They built the middle school because they didn't have the room, what the hell did they think moving them back would do? You're just hurting the middle school students."


"Bu. . .bu . ..but you could use the school gym for disasters." Josette mock-bleats.


"If they have a disaster they'll take the damn school over anyway." Susan says, walking through.




The others start coming out before the harvest festival.


"How are you coming on your books?"


"I've got fourteen of the new ones printed, I've got five more that's in the printing line, then President Bartlett and Principal Madison's books. I've got five of the last seventeen started, and brought everything for the rest of the quilts."


"I thought the shelves looked a little crowded." Hannah says dryly.


"Yeah, I've been busy this summer with my classes, the offworld harvests, and Doc and the others adding to the dorm to get in many quilts."


"Do you have two groups graduating this year?"


"Next year, then the following two years for all the high school students that came out the last three years, then the youngest students and employees."


"Then you gotta start inspecting and cleaning all the dorms and school buildings."


"Yep, then painting and replacing mattresses and linens beyond what we've been doing."


"Didn't you say you had a university textbook expo?"


"Yeah, next week. I'm hitting a few places while I'm out there."


Josette comes back and waves boxes to various places.


"How was the expos?"


"Good, I picked up a lot of stuff. Granda's got copies of all the books for the library. I picked up a new shipment for ours. Went to Vegas for a few days. Got the judgments against the assholes who kept trying to steal the land from us."


"Are they settling down?"


"HELLLLLLL no." Josette drawls. "Every damn day I was out there there was another realtor in the news getting fined for not taking no for an answer. Some of them were facing jail time for their stupidity."


"What about the dimension?"


"Oh they're wailing about that too. We had to have known this would happen when they gave it to them."


"Yeah, anybody with half a brain would have." David snorts.


"Which lets them out since they're only in it for the big bucks." Alexander rolls his eyes as he opens the first box of books. "Isn't this the stupid twit that tried taking your books?"


"Yes, she's tried it to other authors, both claiming she was their agent then in one case claiming she was the real author. The other person was just an actor hired by the publishing house. The judge read the files on what else the stupid bitch had done and told her to grow the fuck up."


"I bet she didn't wike that." Abby cooes.


"Oh not at all. Had an absolute fit in the courtroom. Who are you to tell me what I can and can't do? Don't you know who I am? Thankfully her stupidity won't breed with the zero-population period going on."


"Maybe that's why it happens, to weed out the morons." Alan says as he comes in. "Anything new on the zero-population period?"


"Not after they've weeded out the psychotic rants, the sky is falling wails, and the they're doing this to me deliberately huffs." Josette snorts. "There's a good few books on the realtors and the management company. Of course they're wailing about slander but since everything is true. . ." Josette smirks as the others laugh.


The books are sorted out and put in shelves in the library to be read later before they head to the dining room for lunch.


After lunch Josette heads up to her workroom, going eeny meeny miney mo to select a quilt, opening the bag and copying the drawing and notes, pinning a copy up on the corkboard as she starts cutting out pattern pieces.


"How is Dad coming along on the casino?" Principal Madison asks when she comes back midterms to deliver the last of the graduating students belongings and orders.


"Pretty good, the buildings will be up by the Lights Festival and they'll have everything in by the harvest festival next year. With everything opening before they come out for the lights festival. They're having a big opening with a portion of the profits going to different charities. When they start having kids again they'll start scholarships, both to their school and universities."


"I'm sure people will be showing up with their hands out bleating how they should be getting the money."


"Oh yes, anytime somebody makes money there will be somebody else whining that it should be theirs." President Bartlett snorts. "Because they're too good to work for it themselves. Now, library?"


"I finished everything I got when I went out for the textbook expo, the next batch won't be arriving until the first of the year."


"Did you go to Vegas?"


"Yes, and ignored the whiny brats who were wondering why anybody would buy fabric. . .until they realized their favorite designers did the same thing." The teachers in earshot sniggers. "Ehhh, always going to be some fools out there." Josette snorts.


"Are you going out to Doc's dimension after Thanksgiving?"


"Yes, we went out early last year. This year I've got interviews for the books, a show, and a couple of the quilting books debuting. And the fabric warehouse that dumbass took the building from will be opening again." Principal Madison looks at her and Josette tells him what happened, the teachers sighing or rolling their eyes. "Idiot."


"Yeah, he got what he deserved. . .not what he wanted."


"Anyway, with all the new room they're getting in a lot more stuff for the grand reopening sale."


Josette puts the books away for the first airplane crashes and apartheid degrees she finished this year upstairs.


"Are the students getting their supplies already?" David looks towards the administration building.


"The new freshman, this way everything's not assholes to elbows when the other students get theirs. Since they're all dual-enrolled too."


"How many students are graduating next year?"


"Not quite thirty thousand, next year after that thirty-three thousand, and the following year thirty-five thousand."


"It seems like more."


"All the students who can have rooms to themselves. We should start seeing dorms emptying next year."




"At least another year since this was the major color choice, then smaller batches of different colors for a few years after that."


After Thanksgiving David opens the tesseract for the students and employees, the graduating students either going inside for their graduation ceremony or heading to vehicles waiting on them.


Josette arrives at the manor a couple hours later.


"Get everything delivered?"


"Yep. Checked over the new land. Listened to the whiny bastards who won't take hell no for an answer and told them to shove their oh so important paperwork up their bloody asses. They still think that I'm some kid who will turn over the land to them for as little money as they can get away with. They're pouting because the government won't listen to their demands anymore. They can't have the land taken by eminent domain because too many people used that excuse to get what they wanted."


"So the government's cracking down on that shit. About time." Alexander snorts.


"Yeah, and tossing out stupid lawsuits before they ever get to court. And fining people for filing them. And making sure that celebtritwits who are arrested don't bleat that they're a victim of their disease and actually punished for their bullshit."


"Awwwww." Alan coos.


"What's the death toll?"


"Population is just under four billion. It will be even further down by the time they start having kids again."


Josette yawns the next morning as she waits for the coffee to finish brewing, looking out the window at the rain.


"Who's working on plans for the new additions?"


"Granda, he's been working on them on and off when he's not busy with the school and the other businesses. Once the school closes in a couple years he'll have more time to work on it."


"What do we need beyond more room for your stuff?" Alan asks.


"The wish list is on the server."


"Where's David?"


"Downstairs checking on the mechanicals. We probably need to update some things."


Josette starts delivering stuff to various buildings back on Haven as David opens the tesseract for students and employees.


"Get everything delivered?" Principal Madison asks, waving Josette to the front room at dinner.


"Yes, maintenance is going to be moving it over the next few days since I just put it in buildings to get it out of the containers." President Bartlett nods in satisfaction.


"Seventh planet?"


"I'll take everything out tomorrow when we come back from Doc's dimension."


Pat smiles as Josette and the others arrive at the Tower.


"How's Haven?"


"Quiet, the students knew that schools were closing but going out and seeing everything closed is making it all real."


Josette smirks as she and Pat head off to the grand reopening and the others are talked to about starting university classes. She gets a traitor look and throws them a mental raspberry /I already went through all this, your turn. And you shouldn't be boarding like I did./


"Behave Josette." Pat doesn't know what Josette's saying but she's well aware that she's taunting the others mentally. "Do I even want to know?"


"Telling them that they probably wouldn't be boarding like I was." Pat chuckles as Josette inputs the address in her vehicle and it pulls out on to the road. "Did you deliver the supplies to the buildings instead of just taking out containers?"


"Yes, this way maintenance doesn't have to dig them out during the winter. They've already got in everything they'll need over the winter from the other containers and I took a good number of empty ones back to Earth when I went out."


"Are the deliveries going to slack off when the students leave?"


"Yeah, that's why Granda's sending out so much stuff now. Every four months instead of every two months probably or even twice a year."


"What's the population out there?"


"Just under four billion with under three when they start having kids again. The population will be slow to start building again, from the records of the last times."


"Are the realtors settling down?"


"Yes, after figuring out whining isn't going to make the government change their minds and they can't just snatch anything claiming eminent domain anymore."


"The government is putting massive restrictions on it here. Local governments can't do it anymore, they need to send in a request to the state and federal governments. They've both got to say yes now for it to happen. And they have to pay full price for the land." Pat chuckles as they pull into the parking lot much sooner than they should have been and they walk inside.


Josette puts the last of the purchases in two rooms and they have dinner and see a movie before the vehicle takes them back to the Tower, Pat chuckling as she pulls Josette to her room instead of letting her sleep in the vehicle. Not that both of them don't know Josette wouldn't be sleeping for a while. The others are poring over university catalogs, Josette snickering when she sees Hamberg and its sister school Berlin's catalogs.


"Are you going for more degrees?" Susan asks the next day.


"As soon as I'm in the same time period." Josette checks the clothes in her closet, shaking her head as Pat calmly comes in, selects something, and puts it in her hands. Susan sniggers in her chair in the corner of the room.


They return a couple months later for them, detouring to the seventh planet so Josette can deliver supplies there.


"How was Doc's dimension?" Professor Druid chuckles at Josette's sour look.




"And book signing. Not as many as the other shows since we're not as well known there."




"A short one. . .nine days." Josette stretches and yawns, then looks out the window and sighs.


"Yes, it's already snowing and they're predicting this will stick." Principal Madison chuckles. "Maintenance is busy moving everything in the buildings, very glad they don't have to pull everything out of containers in the middle of winter anymore. Did you get your deliveries?"


"Yes, I moved everything to my studio or the yarn buildings yesterday."


Josette puts an extra quilt on her bed later that night, looking out the window at the dark sky.


Josette settles in her usual spot at the Albatross Nest.


"Books?" Somebody asks after everybody's eaten and the dishes put in basins to be washed later as babywipes are passed around and the tables wiped down.


"Party next week eighth day, Josette is bringing out the boxes the day before."




"Doc and the others were working on the dorm this summer, I didn't get as many in as I normally do. They're all going to be in the books." Josette waves a hand and five quilts appear on the tables.


"How many more books now?"


"Three to start printing the beginning of the year and then Principal Madison and President Bartlett's books."


Over the next couple of weeks buildings start to be decorated for the Lights Festival and Josette runs the replicator for the students.


"The students ready for the new semester?" Doc asks when they start coming out.


"Yep, the last of the students have the books and supplies for two to three classes, when they're done with these they can sign up for more classes and get more supplies."


"How many...?"


"Most of the students get in four a semester. Some might get in six a semester and take the summer off. Some might take a couple extra classes with the idea of getting a second degree in the future after they return home."


Josette and Calvin talk for a few hours, Richard, Hannah, and some of the others coming into the conversation. Back on Earth they talk to various government officials who nod that this should have been done before now.


"What were you talking with the others about?"


"Remember me talking about whole streets in big cities that need to be cleaned up."


"And . . .bringing in stores in areas that need it?"


"Yep, Granda is talking to the government about it. Lord knows the local governments won't get off their asses and do it. If the governments own the stores they'll stay in business, have food at good prices, and won't have to pay the cities taxes." The others snigger.


"Which the whiners with their hands out saying they could have done it will pout about."


"Yep." Josette smirks evilly.


"Did you bring out stuff for the superstore in Albatross?"


"Yep, I emptied the containers there from the ship. They're bulging at the seams in the back but it means no tromping out to the containers to bring stuff inside during the winter."


"You sign up for another degree?" Josette smirks at David when she heads to the office one day for supplies.


"Yeah." David rubs the back of his neck. "Grammy Allie insisted I get in more than six classes this year." Josette sniggers.


In the office she replicates the supplies for their degrees, putting them up in the library then joining the others in the dining hall for lunch.


Josette sniggers as she listens to the wails of big business in the databursts over the next couple of weeks.


"They howling at not having the money from everything?"


"Yes, more are threatening to sue because this means no competition. . .ignoring the fact that they could have opened stores if they wanted." The others snort. "And a lot of people are hoping they do open."


"Just like the morons whined about the affordable care act."


"Yep. They don't want to do it but if anybody else does they'll whine. No matter how many people it helps."


"They don't want to help people, it's all about what's in it for me with them." David snorts.


Josette goes out midterms, being waved to a seat since Calvin's door is shut and Jane's on the phone.




"Dealing with inspections for the everything on the casino and hotel grounds. Dealing with businesses wanting to go in on our land, ignoring whiny fools who don't like the idea of the government coming in with stores in poor neighborhoods so people can have affordable food."


Josette rolls her eyes. "Thankfully the courts told them to blow it out their old wrinkled asses, in nicer terms of course, and the miserable old fools should be dying off soon. They're the same morons who whined about community gardens going in open lots."


"Lemme guess, they can afford to drive miles out of their way to get the best. . .why shouldn't everybody else?"


"Oh yes. We've also got people petitioning to bring them into smaller towns where there's no grocery store."


"Like that place in California where the Walmart drove out the local grocery then went out so they have to drive miles to go grocery shopping."


Jane nods as the door to Calvin's office opens and she's waved inside after somebody walks out.


Josette spends a couple hours emptying containers on the ship, moving everything to the buildings. Joyce sends out the notice when carts of mail appear in the office along with the supplies for the graduating students and David looks over as mail appears in the dorm.


"Is that everything?" David asks when Josette appears in the dorm.


"Yep, everything's in the buildings. Mail and supplies are in the office, the whiny bastards who don't like the government bringing in stores got told to blow it out their old wrinkled asses and they walked off pouting." Alan sniggers as he walks in. "They're also taking requests from smaller towns that don't have grocery stores."


"Albatross. . ."


"And that place in California where Walmart drove out the local grocery store then went out."


"How's everything going in the casino?"


"Good, they're having their inspections. Once everything's checked they'll start bringing everything in."


"They still planning the special thing around the Harvest Festival?"


"Yeah, then the official opening later. Like the hotel did the comicon."


"They having another one?"


Josette nods, sniggering. "With a special day long event at the school. They're going to be allowing people to buy stuff but they gotta get in their orders early. Like starting now early. And they gotta pay at least half of it in advance. So they have everything boxed up for them when they arrive." Alexander nods as he walks in, grabbing a container and starting to sort it out.


Most of the mail goes in the recycling bin unopened.


"Are realtors trying to get around the new law?"


"Yep, they tried suing to overturn the law citing it was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court laughed at them. They tried sending letters with private names but the morons still used the realty's address and got their hands slapped for that too. Then they tried using no return address but people still complained."


"How dare they complain about us trying to get your land away from you?" Alan hisses as he grabs his mail.


"Yeah. Granda says he's come across a couple dozen 'letters' from so-called private individuals who want our land as a 'retreat' but there's so many clauses in the contracts 'using' the land that it's a clear case of trying to steal it that they're wailing in prison about how we shouldn't have seen through their cunning plot. They've tried this same shit with the school."


"Gods, people are stupid!" David sighs.


"Amen. But you know the old saying, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Or in this case the thieving bastards get all the bad publicity while the rest of them keep their heads down and make good profits."


"How are they coming on tearing down abandoned houses and buildings?"


"Good, they've needed to be taken care of for years but nobody ever bothered. Some people are whining at the loss of tax income but they didn't have any coming in from those buildings anyway so everybody's ignoring them."


"And some people huffing that they could have done that."


"Then why didn't they?" Susan snorts.


"That's what the others said. So they're pouting about not being the big heroes." Josette rolls her eyes.


"Did you get in a batch of supplies?"


"Yeah, the next batch will be arriving either by the time we come out for finals, midterms, or Christmas."


"Calvin's school closes next year doesn't it?"


"Yeah, that's why they're dealing more with the businesses."


"Are we going out for the special event?"


"Yeah, Jane's working on a list of the movers and shakers in the community for the party. They're going to be paying five hundred dollars a head for the privilege." The others snigger.


"In addition to the hotel rooms, money they spend on the machines, and food."


Josette smirks. "I'm also going out to Vegas while we're out there."


"So you can win as much as you want without feeling guilty." David sniggers.


"And the buffets."


"And see some shows and whatnot, it will be a while before Granda gets those at the casino."


"Not too long once he makes the news."


"Yeah, I expect a lot of publicity at the special event."


Josette shakes her head as she reads the databurst a couple days later.


"More whining?" Mom Sanders asks, coming up behind her. She'd come out from Archimedes for a few hours since Dad was talking with Principal Madison about something.


"Yes, people are idiots. They're trying to make private schools toe the Department of Education guidelines when they reopen despite suing multiple times before and being told no. Because of course this time they'll have to do what they want. Since all the schools are closing, they'll have plenty of time to get rid of the classes they don't want them offering and only have the ones they approve of."




"Every other time the schools were still open, that has to be why their lawsuits failed before. Not because they're fucking morons."


Everybody rolls their eyes. "Yeah, so the twits will walk off pouting because they can't be the big man around town anymore. They've already got a list a mile long of schools that won't be reopening, low enrollment to begin with or needing too many repairs to be feasible."


"Killingmesoftly." David says.


"Exactly, private schools keep up on their maintenance because it brings the students in. Most public schools don't have the money or don't care."


"Or like that school by the tower, the elementary section was built years ago and isn't up to standards now. They can't pass millages because they ask for too much money and it brings up taxes too much."


"That's why that millage failed for the school."


"And their plan was stupid. It was just moving the students around instead of fixing the damn problem." Mom looks at them and they tell her about the school millage and plans. She rolls her eyes. "If you need a new school. . .build a new school instead of trying that."


"They'd tried several years before that and it failed miserably."


The educational difference between private and public schools is all over the next few databursts, along with the wailing when they don't get their own way. Josette shakes her head at their stupidity as she fills containers in the office. Jane snorts as she turns the television on the wall to another channel. "They had a special announcement for that whiny fool?"


"Her daddy's big in the government." Maria says in a sing-song voice. "Daddy's going to be kicking her ass for embarrassing him. Did you get the list of sizes and colors from the spa?"


"Yeah, they passed me the list as they were unpacking the new order. I asked them where they ordered from so I can get in an order for us."


Jane nods. "I did the same thing. They have a store. . ." She finds the information and writes it down for Josette.


"How's the list of schools not opening?"


"Getting longer every day. We're looking at at least sixteen years before any kindergarteners after the schools close and only one school per town for years. Which people are wailing about. . .they should keep all the schools open and the teachers sit in empty rooms all day." Josette calls them ten different types of fool. "Yes, the court quickly disabused them of that notion. The state governments are not going to give the schools money to sit empty."


"That type of person is living proof of how bad a public school education can be." Josette mutters. Jane cackles and nods.


"Are you staying long?"


"Yes, I'm visiting several places while I'm here."


Richard shows Josette around a rooftop farm he started and she nods at everything.


"Is this the only source of fresh food?"


"Except for backyard gardens where they have the room. Of course people complained about it but the courts told them to blow it out their wrinkled asses to quote you." A woman nearby sniggers.


Josette gets the last of the trees she'd purchased settled on the ship and adds extra nutrients so they settle in well as the boxes of seeds go up on shelves. She'd already planted everything else she'd brought for the ship, the other trees and plants are in stasis, and they're taking the scenic trip back to Haven.


"How was Earth?"


"People are fucking stupid." David looks at her. "Instead of shutting down private schools they want them to take in kids from public school at no cost."


"Yeah. . .that went over real well I'm sure."


"'Wellllll, I'm sure the state can give you some money. . .' they bleated. That court case got thrown out as the stupidity it was."


"You hear about parents getting vouchers."


"'Ohhhh, I'm sure that will be more than enough for your troubles'." Josette drawls. "It doesn't cost that much to put a kid through school."


"Yeah, that's why so many schools are having budget problems." Alan snorts.




"Did you stop the places you wanted?"


"Yeah, I nearly doubled the trees on Ulonda and we stopped to the first planet so I could plant there too. I've got tons of stuff in stasis on the ships to plant in the spring. And that's after I sent what the others wanted to them."




Josette waves a hand and boxes appear in front of them, they go through them all and nod. "Granda was interested in the agriculture dimension like Becka has."


"So's Richard. He took me to some rooftop farms that he helped set up. And speaking of Becka, I just got a message she's pregnant again. ..I guess 50 is old." she says her lips twitching. The others cackle. "The others are pregnant too. And it's multiples again. The twins and Idina are having triplets, Becka and Danita are having twins, while Benton and their friend Kelly are loudly thanking god it's only one baby."


"How are the stores coming along?"


"Good, they're cleaning up whole areas in large cities for them. Multiple stores are going up everywhere as there's a construction crew to handle it. That place in California was the first one to have one started, they had the old Walmart building and it didn't really need that much work beyond adding some more freezer and refrigerated foods sections. They started filling the shelves, hiring employees, and opened the store. Of course they had some whiners complaining and threatening to sue but they were told to go away."


"Pouting because they said they didn't need a store no matter how far they had to travel?"


"Exactly. Some people are miserable bastards who have to try to spread it around to make themselves feel better."


"Did you talk to Madison and the others while you were out there?"


"Yeah, the sales are good. The first of the 'prequels' is debuting later this year so I gotta do another book tour." The others snigger. "Some nasty old biddies had a fit about 'smut' and tried suing, the judge told them to go away. Since they probably read the damn things but pretend they're soooo much better than everybody else . .." The others snigger.


"How is the work on the city-ship coming?"


"Good, they've got several crews working on various sections."


"How long do they figure the first test?"


"Six months on the moon, then five years on Mars."


"Is Becka's back on Earth?"


"Latest message says a few more months. They'll be on Earth for at least a year while they go over everything, clean everything, restock, get in a new crew, and lift off again. This second trip they plan on being out by the sun."


"Hmmmm, take at least six months to get out there."


"Huh, I don't think they've thought about that, I'll have to have the ships figure out how long it would take to get to the various planets."


"They'd need a longer mission."


"Yeah, at least ten years. Especially if they start looking at other planets."


"Get your second tv degree finished?"


"Second semester." Josette says as they look at the time and head to the dining hall. Clark Kent is in the front room talking to one of the teachers and she motions him into the back room when he's done.


"What did you need Josette?"


"You know the engines on the city-ship. How long would it take to get to the sun? They're talking about a mission there in Becka's dimension once they're back on Earth in a few months."


"They'd need a longer mission."


"They're looking at ten years."


Josette can see him doing the math in his head. "It would take them at least a year to get to the sun with their regular engines, we took the ships in tow when we moved them."


"So did the 9th planet." Josette gets the figures from the ships later and sends them off to Becka. She gets a 'thanks, nobody had thought about that and they'll need to know that when they start looking at planets to colonize.


Josette looks over at the beep on an incoming message on her PADD, moaning and banging her head against the table. David catches the PADD that had gone sliding across the table, reading the message, blinking, reading it again and cackling.


"Do we want to know?" Principal Madison asks from the front room.


"Message from Becka, bunny about a group of 'senior' prostitutes at a nursing home." Principal Madison moans as President Bartlett sniggers. "I was right, I didn't want to know."


The snow begins melting and Josette and the other farmers are out spreading manure on the fields and gardens. It's tilled under a few days later and they plant before Josette heads off to her finals on Archimedes. She picks up the recycling on the planets over the next couple days, moving it various places. The last of the recycling from the school goes on the ship and David opens the tesseract for the students and employees.


The spa workers sigh as Josette comes in, waving containers out of subspace. "Go through everything with me. I made extra."


"Bless you Josette, we're down to nothing." One of the workers says as they open the containers and start counting everything. The shelves are filled and the extras go under the counter. Josette fills the containers in the office before heading off to the manor.


"Meeting with Madison and the others?"


"Yeah, and touring the casino buildings with Granda."


They head back to Haven a few weeks later, the students and employees walking through the tesseract as Josette delivers containers.


"Is that the last of the supplies?" Joyce asks as Josette comes into the office.


"Yes, if we run low we'll replicate and let them know so they can increase the orders next year. We shouldn't though, we've got about a quarter more supplies than normal." Joyce looks at the numbers and nods.


"Josette did you order more yarn and knitting machines?"


"Yes, I doubled both yarn orders and ordered another twenty machines."


"Thank you, Dad said the orders were picking up."


"I made extra beyond what the spa had requested." He nods in satisfaction and walks back into his office. He then turns around and looks at her.


"Was that you going mad black woman on that idiot realtor in the news?'


"No but I would have been doing the same damn thing if it was me."


"Do I want to know?" Joyce asks dryly.


"Some stupid asshole has been repeatedly told no that the land this family had in the family for years wasn't for sale. The family came home from a day shopping to find them in their house moving everything out."


"Oh Christ." Joyce moans.


"But we're moving you out, you should be glad to sell us the land now." Josette says in a mock-whining voice. "The mother went off on the realtor, grabbing a shotgun and cussing him out while the father called the police. The assholes had to put everything back in the house including stuff they'd 'misplaced'. . ." Josette does a fingers quote.


"Misplaced to their own cars no doubt." Joyce snorts.


"Wellll it's too good for them." Josette mock-whines again. "They'd also tried throwing away anything they didn't want so they had to bring everything out and replace anything damaged before they faced charges. The government is not happy and is talking about shutting down all realtors and putting them under government control because they obviously can't be trusted to do their damn jobs legally. The human rights groups don't know who to support. . .if they support the realtors they're proclaiming it's okay to steal the land of hard-working people. . . if they support the people who are being harassed . . ."


"The realtors whine. It's the damn rotten eggs that is spoiling the industry for everybody. The good realtors will go on same as usual whether they're under the control of the government or not."


Josette looks in the yarn building, counting the pallets she has left and absently enlarging the building both up and out.


"Did you need it?" David asks behind her as he looks at all the new room.


"I doubled the yarn orders because the demand is hot. Alexander." He stops in the hallway and walks backwards, looking inside and moaning. "More knitting machines?"


"Yeah, another twenty. I'm going to move them to a room down the hall." He nods. "One table or two?"


"Three, I'm sure I'll be buying more in the future."


Alexander sniggers. "Michael, we're on tap for more tables for Josette." he calls.


"More machines?" He asks from the first floor.


"Demand for the stuff at the spa is hot, I took in more beyond what they'd requested and the demand will just go up when the school closes in a couple years."


David sniggers as he listens to the databurst a few days later. "Whiny asshole, 'but whhhhhyyyyy won't you arrest her? She yelled at me. Welllll yes, we were in her home and taking everything out. . ..but that's no reason to threaten me. WHAT? What do you mean theft? We didn't take anything .. .oh yeah, there were some people moving stuff to their cars. . .but it was just for safekeeping. But they should have been happy to have us moving them. After all, that's got to be why they haven't accepted our offers on their house and land.' Not that their offers were a fucking joke and they didn't want to sell their land."


"Of course not. . ." Josette drawls. "They're pouting since they can't subdivide huge tracts of land for McMansions, malls, and other shit nobody needs. They want it but nobody needs it. They just need it to lord over people. Which people pouted about when the colony opened up, nobody could rush out and buy up large tracts of land, they had to show they were working it instead of having a huge mansion. Of course, finding out there was no electricity, running water, flush toilets, or heat didn't help either." The others snigger.


Josette slumps onto the couch a couple months later.


"Is that it for the offworld harvests?"


"Yep." Josette sighs and closes her eyes, getting in a power nap.


The yearly crops start coming in and then the second harvests. Josette puts the last of the food away.


"So how long until you're in your right time period in Doc's dimension?" Alan asks as they walk to the dining hall.


"Year after next. This year I'll be mostly through my doctorate, next year I'll be at the Tower doing research."




"Another couple of days and I'll have everything in the system."




"Picked up the last quilting book and Principal Madison's biography yesterday. President Bartlett's will be finished in a couple months since both shifts are printing it. Then the machinery will be shut down, inspected, cleaned, and the building shut up until I have more books ready to print."


"Paint factory?"


"Another two years?" Josette says. "I need to check the requests to be sure. Everything will be done a year before the school closes."


"Is Calvin getting in supplies?"


"Yes, everything should be in to work on the buildings by the end of the year. Then they'll do the same thing we are, a thorough scrubbing, painting what needs painting, replacing mattresses, putting in new linens, and opening the dorms to spa patrons who buy the extended packages."


"Are they going to replace the twin beds?"


"Maybe, the fancy bedding doesn't come in twin sizes." Josette sniggers and nods. "Since they gotta share bathrooms anyway I don't see them changing the bedrooms. No matter how much the old biddies whine."


Josette puts the last of the books on the rolling carts, Tara grabbing one, Alex a second, and Dawn the last one to start shelving them. Hannah nods in satisfaction from the doorway. "Is that it?"


"Yeah, until the new shipment comes in the end of the year."


"You added onto your yarn building?"


"I ended up doubling the yarn orders since the demand is so good at the spa and it will just go up when the school closes." Hannah sighs but nod. "More machines?"


"Twenty. The boys are making me three new tables since I'm sure I'll be buying more machines in the future." Hannah sniggers and nods. "They'll whine when the school becomes a school again."


Everybody looks around the casino and hotel, restaurant, shopping area and farm market selling food. The special event lasts three days and makes them just over fifteen million dollars. Josette heads off to Vegas, making a good one hundred and thirty million over five days.


The Albatross Nest is hopping for the last book party.


"Josette, how long until you start printing again?"


"Probably not until the school closes in three more years."




"I had a tour when we went out for the students and Granda's special party at the casino. The government is trying to pull shit but they got their asses kicked by their superiors since he had all the paperwork needed. Tried claiming there was something illegal out there but somebody from the gaming commission was there and kicked them in their balls for their stupidity. They're pouting since they were looking for either a bribe or had accepted a bribe from somebody to make sure it didn't open. They were removed from the local office and everything they'd done is being investigated."


"Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of assholes." Suzie snorts. "Always got to be somebody out to cause trouble because they're miserable human beings."


"Who want what somebody else has. . .because they worked for it but they don't want to."


"Yeah, some morons from gamblers anonymous were threatening to picket and were told to grow the fuck up. Isn't part of the program taking responsibility for your own actions?"


"And apologizing to the people you've hurt."


"Never going to happen with some of them."


"Didn't I hear about a comicon and the school you're taking classes at?"


"Yeah, I'm off there right now. Nobody sleeps or eats at a comicon anyway so it won't look weird."


Josette sniggers when she merges with her self that had been at the comicon, the others just looking at her when they hear on the databurst some starlet whining that somebody was being mean to her, she was just trying to help the poor dear. The video footage calls her a damn liar and she loses her latest guest spot on a 'reality' show and has to work for a living.


"Can't afford the two thousand dollar shoes on minimum wage." Josette smirks. "Maybe she'll stop sneering at everybody she thinks is beneath her now because they can buy and sell her worthless ass a thousand times with pocket change."


"Stop to Atlantic city?" Some of the bags she'd brought out had been from that area.


"Yep, made another few hundred million in a day." The others look at her. "Daddy owns a couple casinos out there. That's why she's a starlet."


"Ahhhhh, gotcha." David smirks.


"Poooo' baby, she's going to have to learn what it is to be a human being, which means paying your own bills, buying your own groceries, cooking your own meals, and balancing your checkbook. Everything she left to the little people before now."


"People like that should be drowned at birth. At least her stupidity won't be passed on to a kid.


"Nope, she'll be in her thirties when they start having kids again and isn't that like 'old'?"


Snickering from everybody.


"Start a new tv degree?"


"I'll start it next year. Otherwise I'd finish a semester into the year."


Josette takes out the last of the student belongings to the school, making various piles. Jane and Maria starting to send out messages.


"Is that everything?" Calvin asks from the door to his office.


"Anything else the students will have to shuffle home on the ship with them. But everybody's good about making sure the kids have everything sent home before they leave." The others nod.


"How are you on supplies for the dorm?"


"Good, we should have the major paint color by the end of this year with another for the other colors. We'll definitely have everything by the time the school closes. . .you can't paint or really inspect buildings with winter coming on, so it will be the following spring at least."


"How is everybody coming on their classes? I see David started another degree."


"Alexander and Michael picked up an extra class spring and fall and took classes this summer to get in the last year of their degree. They plan on signing up for a comic book degree but want to take the year off to knock down special orders. Susan's three semesters into her degree, the others got a year to go for theirs. Alan was talking about signing up for the Harvey comics degree."


"How was the school during the expo?"


"Making money hand over fist. They couldn't order as many as they wanted . ..still limited orders for non-students, but people were filling the backs of vans, trailers. . .anything they could fit the boxes in. I can see more people signing up for the limited computer classes they're offering in a few weeks."


Josette's handed a thick file by Calvin. "We had your mansion and the grounds inspected when some realtor tried getting them condemned so he could swoop in and take everything. He's whining to anybody who will listen that it should have worked." Josette snorts and rolls her eyes. "Expect the morons trying to steal your land to very quickly go away. Now they have to pay you the worth of your land in damages if they try anything." Josette looks at what the land is worth and whistles. "This is more than some national budgets."


"Yep, they can't get that kind of money from investment groups so they are very quickly backing off." Josette, Jane, and Maria snigger in unison. "They got the whole damn dimension, work on that."


"They're going to have to, once they sit down and start on a plan on what they'll have to bring in in the way of infrastructure."


"Awwwwww, they gotta work for their money." Josette coos. Everybody sniggers again. "Are you down a while?"


"Yeah, I gotta talk to Madison, Jessica, and Joan about book sales since the other book came out."


"They're flying off the shelves at the stores." Jane says. "I pre-ordered my copy online." Maria nods.


Joan repeats Jane's statement, handing over the numbers and contracts to have them printed in a second language and put on audio. Josette looks at the thumb drive in her pocket then Joan, pulls it out and tosses it to her. "I got the basic idea from a friend, you'll see in the dedication." Joan waves her off and starts reading, blinking through the first couple of chapters then howling and sending it off to the others.


"When is the school closing?" David asks when she returns to Haven.


"Mid-second semester, they're going to be starting the fall semester in a couple weeks."


"Is the comic school offering online classes?" Alan asks. "Regular online classes. . .not our systems."


"Yeah, only twenty-five students per class. Only three classes in a semester. If they keep up their grades and don't blow off the classes they can sign up for another semester. Next year more people will be allowed to sign up for classes, they've hired more teachers to grade the students tests and will be hiring more if everything is good." David nods. "If the students grades are good, they'll be allowed to pick up more classes their second year. But I'm not seeing it right away, the classes are a good bit of reading."


"Are they coming in to pick up their books and supplies?"


"Fed-Ex. They put a distribution center down the road from the school and have two to three trucks a day picking up orders."


"Are they still doing mail-order?"


"Yes, the online students pay about five percent more than the students taking classes at the school. Mail order is ten percent over what the students taking classes at the school pay. Not counting the shipping."


"How's Calvin coming along on the casino, hotel, and whatnot?"


"Pretty good, the last of the stores are due to be in by Thanksgiving. Including the green grocer that's going to be selling a lot of the stuff from the commercial farm they took over. The 'grand opening' date is a few days before they come out for the Lights Festival and all the hotel rooms are already booked. . .for nearly a week." David sniggers as he walks through, it had already been a good sized hotel and they'd 'expanded' it when the casino and shopping area went in.


"The party got them a lot of attention, everybody who wanted to be movers and shakers in the community who couldn't get an invite to the other one are determined not to miss this one. So they can say they were there. . .not realizing everybody already knows who the movers and shakers in the community are and everybody is going to be there anyway." David sniggers but nods.


"Are you going out?"


"Yeah, but I'll hit Atlantic City and Vegas too. They've got a convention out there I'm attending. A few actually." David sniggers. "Did Daddy take over the business?"


"Yep and the old customers are beginning to return now that the kid isn't in charge. Dad is ordering more stuff in too, something dumbass cut out because. . .oh nobody wants all this to choose from. . .they'll take what we offer them and like it."


"Christ, was he trying to destroy the business?"


"Oh you know stupid kids who take over family businesses. They have all these ideas how everything should be run but because they never had to work for it in the first place they don't listen to people who actually went through it and screw it up to hell and back." The others snigger and nod. "They think they're so damn special and nobody can tell them no because they know best. The girls and younger boy are going to be working with Dad to learn how to run the business."


David opens the tesseract for the students and employees after Thanksgiving. They walk off talking to friends and family. Those who are up for the first graduation ceremony head to the auditorium while the rest head to vehicles.


Josette empties a couple warehouses of containers, putting them on the ship over the next couple of days. The opening for the casino and other stuff happens and people pout that they're not getting all the profits as they see money being made hand over fist. Josette heads various places, moving more stuff to the ship.


A few weeks later David opens the tesseract back on Haven and the returning students and employees walk through.


"Are they inspecting the now empty rooms?"


"Yep, checking for anything major beyond the inspections when they graduated and handwaving it until they can come in and do a thorough inspection and cleaning after the school closes."


"Was there many books to be signed at your shows?" Agatha asks at the party."


"A tenth of what we get when there's new books debuting." Everybody nods. "New books?"


"Three of the five finished with two more started. That leaves ten."


"Is Calvin's school closed?"


"Mid summer, they're all seniors out there now. The only reason we still have students is dual-enrollment." Everybody nods. "It's going to be another eleven years out there before they can start having kids. . .and even then it will be low birth numbers."


"The old one room school house. Even if it's just in a larger school."


"Yep. A lot of schools won't be reopening, those that can will be held back until needed and the ones that are in bad shape torn down. Your school didn't have all that money but you kept yours in good shape."


"Where Killingmesoftly's school was one of them that had to be torn down because the principal didn't bother with upkeep."


"We all took pride in our school and had volunteer weekends during the summers to work on it. If they could pay for the supplies, we'd offer the labor."


"Same thing we're going to do when we start working on the buildings in town." Somebody says. Everybody nods.




Josette waves a hand, bringing out the quilts and putting them on the tables.




"They're starting the smaller batches next year, everything should be done this time next year."


"Not like we can paint in the winter anyway." Suzie shrugs. Everybody nods.


Josette puts everything away back at the dorm, stretching as she gets up from putting stuff on the bottom shelf. She looks around with a smile. What had started a normal dorm room is now it's own building.


The others begin coming out for the Lights Festival. They look outside to find it storming.


"Will this cancel the festival?"


"No, it will end in a few days. Not the first time we've had to dig out before a festival." David says from the couch.


"Where is everybody?"


"Anna, Abby, and Josette are at the office helping Joyce with the students books and supplies for their university classes. The boys are either in their studio working on stuff for a show or the woodworking building working on special orders from Mom Clarinda's dimension. Alan and Susan are in Headquarters helping Pat empty containers." Josette comes in and waves a hand. "Ours is up in the library."


"Thanks. Signed up for a new tv degree?"


"Yeah. We're gonna hafta expand the buildings if all of us start taking the classes."


"You went out while you were out before?"


"Yeah, I showed off the school to the others. While David's taking the classes he never actually visited the school before."


"It was a nice campus. Be a bitch to carry all your books to classes though." The others snigger as they come from Headquarters or down the stairs.


"No, they tell you ahead of time what books you will need for which class." Calvin says dryly. "Not everybody has the room Josette and David have to spread out."


"We gotta enlarge the library if Alan's taking classes."


Calvin looks at Alexander and Michael.


"We're taking a year off to concentrate on the special orders. We're just under halfway through everything, a year will tip us over and the last half is always longer than the first." Everybody sniggers and nods.


"How is the 9th planet Earth?"


"The radiation level is going down thanks to it being so long on Earth and converting it into energy. They have a city on Earth doing experiments and they're making plans for when the nuclear winter ends. Similar plans to what Earth would have been doing when the ice age ended." Nods from everybody. "They're all out on the 9th planet right now."


Josette disappears and reappears a couple seconds later.


"People are stupid." She rolls her eyes and starts swearing.


"Not a lost world?"


"No, a world people picked up and left everything behind. . . because they're fucking celebritwits and debutantes and starting a new world was hard. Their home planet washed their hands of them and they died in a ship back to the planet when it got hit by an asteroid."


"Yes, that would have happened if some of the braindead patrol made it to Haven like they wanted." David sighs. "Was it a real colony or . . ."


"they wanted rid of the idiots and chose this way." Josette snorts. "I still think the ships are getting bigger with all the supplies I'm picking up."


"Do you need the others?"


"No, they didn't make it more than a week on the planet. They were sleeping in a shuttle because nobody had unloaded the ships or started putting up buildings. I just have to put the ships in tractor beam. They took the shuttle back to their planet because the ships were only programmed for a one-way trip. If they'd bothered to read the damn plans, they could have landed the ships on the planet." The others roll their eyes and she heads off, returning an hour later.


"Where are the ships?"


"One on the first planet, one on Haven, one on Archimedes, one on the 9th planet, and one on the 10th planet. Each ship could have easily held 900 people and their supplies for a real colony, some of it was real supplies but some of it was just 'shit' they wanted. There was only ten people in the 'colony' All girls 18 to 21."


"That wouldn't have lasted." David snorts. "Not just because there's no guys or families, the fucking catfights would kill them all off."




Principal Madison lays his head on the table as Professor Druid pats him on the shoulder, her lips twitching to beat the band. The others aren't as nice, they're cackling so hard they're nearly falling out of their chairs.


"I'd have sent them on a one way trip to the sun." Professor Ziegler snorts as he takes a drink of coffee.


"How much money did they spend to get rid of the fools?"


"I'm sure they considered it money well spent to get rid of them."


Josette moans, grabs her PADD and starts making notes.


"Get bunnied by all this?"




Josette writes down everything, making an outline that night after dinner. She looks up when the switching station opens and first Doc from the 9th planet and then Doc from the 10th planet arrive. She holds up a hand and finishes saving the file.


"The ships?" They nod. She tells them what had happened and both men moan.


"Do you have a list of supplies?" Josette sends it to their PADDS and they shake their heads. "Some of this. . ."


"Is shit they whined they couldn't live without."


"They would have learned. . ."


"Or ended up killing each other when stuff ran out and it didn't magically reappear." Josette rolls her head on her shoulders, her neck cracking. Both men head back to their planets, the others waiting on them. The story is told and they stare at them then moan.


"Josette, can you bring out old clothes, we're running low." Sue asks at the Lights Festival.


"Yeah, second week of the new year?" They settle on a date and send out the announcement.


Josette slides into her seat in the government building the first day of the new semester.


"David's not going to be attending, he's talking with Doc about something or other." She tells Principal Madison and President Bartlett. "Then he's headed to GD. Doc's about five minutes behind me." The two men nod. "Have you started going through the ships?"


"Doc and Doc are on the 9th and 10th planets, they're checking to make sure nothing's going to go bad without being popped in stasis. I'm on Archimedes, here, and the first planet checking the other three."


On the tenth planet Buckaroo and Doc are walking through the ship, checking the inventory on their PADDS and shaking their heads.


They finally come to the real colony supplies and start looking around in appreciation. "Do we have the plans for some of this technology?"


"Yes, they're supposed to be on the ship servers. The ships themselves?"


"Solar and chemical powered. They were meant to become meeting halls and emergency shelters on the planets, taking off if there was a natural disaster." Doc looks at the PADD again. "According to this. . .the engines are continually producing power. For space travel or use planetside."


Josette comes out to Calvin's dimension in the middle of the first semester for a comicon, doing some sightseeing and then visiting casinos. The money is deposited into her account before she comes back to Haven and starts delivering stuff.


"Are we getting more supplies?"


"Yes, I'm picking up another batch at the end of this semester and possibly a third when I go out for midterms our second semester.


"Is the school going to be shutting down then?"




Josette looks up from finishing the last quilt for a book at the darkening sky. The alerts about the incoming storm had gone out yesterday so everything is buttoned up and she looks over at David in the doorway.


"For a book?"


"Yeah, this is the last quilt I needed to finish one of the two books I have started. I'll finish it by the end of the week." She holds it up to look over and take pictures for the file. Looking at the time she follows David downstairs so they can go to dinner with the others.


"Get your quilt done?"


"Yeah, it's the last one I needed to finish the book so I'll do that week. That leaves the one I have started and the remaining ten."


"When are you going to start printing?" Frances asks from the front room.


"Year after next? I want to get a couple more books done before I start." She nods in satisfaction.


The storm passes through after a few days and everybody starts digging out, Josette clearing the worst of the snow off the solar panels at the school and the major buildings in town before heading to the other continent. . .finding Clark clearing off the others. Grinning she heads back to the school after checking the ranch, opening the doors of the barn to let the animals get some air as the ranch doors open and David comes out with the snowblower.


"Was that the last storm of the season?"


"Yeah. . .should be. They were predicting a lot of snow but a mild winter otherwise."


The tesseract opens at the school after the first semester finals, students and employees walking through and being greeted by family and friends. Josette drops off containers and picks up more before heading to the mansion.


"Did you pick up supplies for the students?"


"Yeah, I figure on another batch after the school closes."


Josette heads off to the ships a couple days later when she receives a message. Doc looks at her when she returns.


"I had to go harvest a couple planets, one that had been destroyed by the core exploding, the second being knocked from orbit by it's neighbor's explosion."


"Krypton and Argo."


"Or the planets in the 2nd Star Trek movie though survivors were able to live on the second planet even with it knocked from orbit." Josette says. "So I'm good on ores and other raw materials for years." Josette shakes her head. "I swear I heard one of the ships belching as we were moving everything." David sniggers as he walks past. Josette puts pictures up on the screen.


"Damn." He whistles. "Speaking of Krypton that reminds me of the Man of Steel DVD. It's own asteroid field."


"Yeah, if the planets hadn't been a danger to the shipping lanes it would have been left to see if it might have come back together like in the comics. That one piece was big enough to hold a colony if they'd had supplies of the necessary raw materials."


"With that much debris around them if they had the ships they certainly would." Susan says as she walks past. "Are you going out midterms?"


"A couple weeks before then. Expo and staying out for the last students graduating. I should have some stuff to bring back for the students."


Josette tosses the thumb drive on Madison's desk since she's on the phone and ducks out of the office, not at all surprised to find her, Joanne, and Jessica at the gate a few nights later when she returns from an expo.


"That was evil." Jessica complains.


"She cackled so loud she scared everybody in the office." Joanne sniggers. "Can we ask . . ? Oh no."


"Yep, a planet had enough and shipped off celebritwits to another planet for their own world. Unfortunately it didn't end up as well as the book did, they spent a week on the planet in a shuttle because they couldn't be bothered to read the plans to bring down the ships and start bringing out supplies. They went whining back to their planet in the shuttle complaining it was hard and got their asses handed to them. They were sent back to their new planet in the shuttle but an asteroid hit them on the way there."




"Yeah." Josette says quietly.


"Why didn't they take the ship back?"


"It was only programmed for a one-way trip and none of them could be bothered to read the instructions to bring the ships down to the planet. The ships had the equipment to take care of asteroids, the shuttle didn't because it wasn't meant for long trips in space."


"I'm sure some moron will whine that you're making fun of her." Madison snorts.


"If the fucking two thousand dollar shoe fits. . ." Josette rolls her eyes. The others snigger. "Parody is still covered by freedom of speech."


"They'll pout until they realize it's bad publicity and then do something else to try to get in the spotlight again. Probably go running to Dr. Phil or some other talk show about how everybody's being mean to the stupid puke." Joanne snorts. They go over the new contract for the two books and Josette returns to Haven a couple days later for her.


"Is the school closed now?" Principal Madison asks when Josette comes into the dining hall for dinner after spending the last few hours moving stuff.


"Yeah, I attended the graduation ceremony while I was there."


Joyce smiles in satisfaction at the full shelves of supplies for the graduating students the next day when she gets to the office, trust Josette to have filled them when she brought out the new supplies. There's enough boxes in the next couple of rooms to keep them from having to empty the containers until after the Harvest Festival.


Alan takes the gun for the recycling unit and begins shooting the garbage in the dumpsters, maintenance coming up behind him and cleaning them as one of Josette's other selves moves the recycling to the ship. She's emptying the boxes the makeup containers are dropped into once they're cleaned, dropping them into the replicator so the plastic can be used again.


"Do you have paper ends?"


"No, but I'm expecting to be picking them up when we bring out the students after finals."


"Are the employees starting to pack up stuff?"


"Not yet, I expect them to start doing it after the Harvest Festival next year since they've got more stuff than the students." One of the teachers nods as they walk past her.


Josette makes piles of containers in the office, Jane and Maria looking over the list of what goes where and starting to send out messages.


Joanne waves her into the office, handing over the sales reports for all her books and printing out checks. She signs the new contracts that she also prints out and Joanne drops them on the others desks later that day. Boxes are handed to her and she spends a few days shopping before she returns to Haven, delivering the containers of supplies before flying to the dorm.


"Sales good?"


"Yes, the first of the bimbo colony books is due out Thanksgiving. I'm going to have to take two ships out for the book tour. I'm sure people will be wailing at how I'm mocking the poooorrrr celebritwits. They're gonna sue."


Josette looks at the double beep of a message coming in. "Guys, Becka and her ladies adopted three sets of hermaphroditic twins, the state remembered her grandparents adopting the twins and that Danita and Idina are hermaphrodites themselves. Two girls and four boys. All three sets identical."


"Awwww. . . so don't expect them this year."


"Nope, probably not until year after next."


"Did Granda contact her grandparents about them taking classes on the teaching units? I know she was looking at the comic books."


"Yep, she's nearly three years into her first degree. But she's only taking two or three classes a semester." The others snigger at her. She halfheartedly slaps her ass.


"Taking a lot of stuff back?"


"Yeah, 33,000 students will be a lot of containers. Even more since a good chunk of them have had a room to themselves for four years and were able to spread out." The others nod. "It's been half again the normal amount I've been taking back. I expect to have to empty the room five times before I go out for the last time midterms."


Principal Madison nods as he walks into the dorm. "Next year will be even worse."


"I'm figuring on going out monthly after the first semester. The year after that should be back to normal even with the employees heading home." He nods and goes over the list of what Josette brought out and what they can expect over the next couple years.


"Fabric and other supplies?"


"We're still getting our regular orders. . .Granda already said so though they'll probably be going to every other year after the school closes. We'll still make the trips out to Ellis and the other suppliers every few years, probably after the school closes since it's been a few years."


"Next year is two Christmases?"


"Yep, and two offworld harvests, which means I'm going to be busy as hell the last semester the school is open taking out belongings and having offworld harvest weekly."


Josette leans against the counter in the Albatross Nest and whistles, getting everybody's attention. "How are supplies? I'm thinking of making a special trip out to Ellis's year after next when the school has shut down."


Agatha taps her fingers on the counter as Suzie grabs the PADD. "Hmmm, between Thanksgiving when everybody's gone and the Lights Festival. How are we on supplies?"


"Not low low but we will be in a couple years." Suzie flips through screens as Josette sends a message off to Alex Wayne. He looks at the message then checks a couple of rooms and nods, sending back a message. His dad looks at him as he comes up to him.


"Josette is putting together a special trip out to the supplier after the school closes. By then we'll be getting low even with the supplies we're getting in from manufacturers." Thomas looks in the rooms and nods. "We should. .."


"We're getting fabrics, thread, yarn, and batting in the order arriving after Thanksgiving, the e-mail just arrived before Josette's message." He brings up the message and hands the PADD to Thomas who nods and pulls him off for a breathing treatment. . .which is why he'd gone looking for him in the first place.


After the Harvest Festival Josette looks through her own supplies, making a list of what she has to order and what she can possibly get during the book tour.


"Did Dad say anything about some of the other schools?"


"Yeah, they're all being inspected now that the schools are closed. A lot of them didn't make the grade and are being torn down, others are being turned into small businesses."


"Jeez, I thought that was just a dream where the schools turned into stores overnight." Alan mutters.




"More like a nightmare if you were trying to find your class because you missed one damn day. Speaking of. . .how are you coming on your comics?"


"I'm not quite halfway through my second degree from National. I finished my third tv degree this summer along with the colonizing the west degree from the history school and the mechanical engineering degree from MIT. Those were the only ones I'm anywhere near finishing, I've got another year for the plane crash degree from the naval academy and while I'm close to finishing some of the megadegrees, I'm flipping through the degrees." The others nod.


"Sign up for your masters?"


"Yeah, a few days ago."


Josette puts everything away a few months later when she finishes the comic book degree, looking around the empty tables but knowing she'll be filling them in a few weeks.


"Damn, I forgot what an empty library table looks like for a moment." Alexander says, looking in the room. "I'm so used to seeing them covered."


"You starting a degree next year?"


"Yeah, both of us are. Alan and the twins are finishing theirs. How's CJ coming on his masters?"


"Good, he finished the classes and presented his thesis this summer. He's taking a couple years off before he starts the doctorate, they want to enlarge the lab on the second planet next year. It's been years since they did."


"Is GD doing anything with the lab on the eleventh planet?"


"Yeah, I'm taking a group out after the first of the year from both Eureka's for a ten year mission."


"Haven ten year. . .Archimedes ten year or?"


"The eleventh planet year."


"Did the city-ship on Becka's world lift off for their ten year mission?"


"Yeah, they're filming the trip to the sun. I've been getting copies of it in the databurst and passing it along to Calvin."


"They should be nearly finished with theirs?"


"Yep, they're going to have all the supplies on board by the end of the first semester and they plan on lifting on midterms our second semester."


"Where are they landing?"


"Mars after they drop off supplies to the moonbase. It should take about six months to get there so they'll have four years to map the planet and run tests before they start packing everything up and come back. With the information from Becka's world they know what to expect and they've been adjusting some supplies."


Josette takes off the next morning after breakfast, returning an hour later. "Where were you?" Doc asks. "I got the notice one of the ships lifted off."


"I was investigating the water planet where we found the structures. I spent about ten years under water trying to find information one way or another if it was originally an underwater civilization or if they had a catastrophe that sunk everything. Everytime I found information that made me think one thing I found something that made me go the other way." David sniggers at her hangdog look. "Send the information to GD?"


"Yeah, Brigadoon is doing it right now, as well as passing it along to the other ships."


"What brought that on?"


"I've been meaning to do it for a while and they're talking on Becka's world about building another city-ship and exploring the oceans."


Doc makes a hmming noise as David blinks. "Makes sense, most of the Earth is covered with water and it's not been explored."


Josette nods. "They found planes from the machines going off but there's centuries of lost shipwrecks on the bottom of the ocean. And a city-ship can both lower than a submarine and stay down longer."


"The drawback is they can't maneuver like a submarine can."


"No but since they can stay down lower they can move to multiple areas."


Madison waves Josette into her office, passing along information on the tour and something else.


"I've heard about these special cruises. . ." Josette says slowly.


"Yes, they went away for a while but they're making a comeback now."


"Because the children are grown and away from home?"


"Yes, now people have time to travel." Madison passes all the information after they talk about the books. "Pre-orders are good. . .we put up an excerpt on the website and word of mouth. . ."


"But they're making 'fun of me'. . ." Josette says in a fingernails on the chalkboard whine.


"Exactly. They threatened to sue and walked away wailing when people told them go grow the fuck up and get over themselves." Josette sniggers.


True to Madison's jokes whining women come up to Josette and scurry away at a glare and a 'get the fuck over yourself, if the truth hurts good'. They'd tried looking for support from the 'little' people who laugh at them. Them! The real fans have a website where they're trying to recognize all the people in the books.


The second ship returns to Haven, Josette having visited several places while they'd been out and she starts moving containers to the dorm.


"Is this your orders?" Pat asks as she looks at the containers.


"No. .. that shouldn't be arriving until the city-ship lifts off. This is a lot of stuff that was being marked down to get rid of it. A woman had ordered it then when it was ready they. . ."


"Fluffed their hair and changed their mind?" Susan drawled. Pat rolls her eyes.


"Yep, they were stunned when they got sued to pay the suppliers. Of course it was their god-given right to say 'sorry, we don't want it now and of course we're not going to pay for it. . .who do you think you are anyway? And this isn't all of it by a long run."


"That's not a designer. . .no real businessperson would do that."


"No, this was some damn fool using Daddy's money and influence to become an 'arteeste'. She were stunned when Daddy laid down the law and not only did she have to pay the manufacturer for what they wanted, she had to pay him back for everything they'd purchased with his money. I got everything for next to nothing, they were giving it away to anybody who had the room for it. Of course dumbass is wailing because she can't live off Daddy's money and influence anymore."


"Living proof people grow old but they don't grow up. They expected to be instantly rich and successful instead of working for everything."


"Exactly. When the money didn't start rolling in she wanted a do-over and real life doesn't work that way."


"Do you have a list of stuff?" Pat asks.


"They tried making an inventory but they kept finding stuff because got forbid she make a list of what she has. 'I didn't know I already had it'."


"Or had her workroom clean with everything either on the table being worked on or put back away where it belonged." Pat snorts. Josette nods. "I have buildings on the ship full of just boxes with stuff in them. . .not counting the fabric and other stuff they'd ordered but hadn't even opened." Pat moans. "Or the machinery."


"We won't lack for time to go through everything." Bethany says, coming up to them.


"Nope, I'll empty a container, we can mark each box and start an inventory then put everything away until it's needed. And put stuff together." The other two women nod.




"Buildings. Literally. Not bolts. . .rolls. I have it all in stasis until we need it."


"Christ. not even the top designer in the world would need that amount of fabric."


"Amen." Josette mutters. The others make similar statements when Josette repeats the story at the Albatross Nest. Especially after Josette puts a pictures of some of the rooms on the screen.


After the first of the year Agatha, Sue, Frances, Elaine, Pat, Josette, and Bethany start opening the boxes Josette brings out of the first container. Once a box has been opened it's placed in various areas so Josette can repack the container more efficiently.


"So how long did it take you to win back however much you spent on all this?" Frances asks during a break. Everybody chuckles.


"Two weeks?" Josette pretends to think. "No, that was for everything. . .a week in Vegas and a week in Atlantic City." The others snigger.


"First Christmas?"


"Three weeks."


"Christ that's early."


"Yeah. Second Christmas is midterms third semester."


"How many students will we have after Thanksgiving?" Bethany asks.


"Six thousand. . .. and. . .and . .. and" Frances says, looking at Josette.


"And two. Thirty-five thousand are graduating this year. It seems like more students because most of the students have their own rooms. Once they're gone this fall, we'll see more dorms closing."


"Fifty cases of seed pearls?" Bethany asks, looking at a receipt in her hands. She'd found the folder of them in a box and was looking through them as she took a break from opening boxes.


"Please tell me you mean boxes of seed pearls, the ones with bags of seed pearls you'd find in stores." Agatha begs.


"Nope." Josette sighs. "I just opened one of them." The others look at the box nearly as big as she is she's next to. "Does the receipt give you any information?"


"Nope, just fifty cases seed pearls."


"Christ, there's got to be a hundred boxes in this case." Frances says, coming over to look at it.


"144." Josette says, counting them with her x-ray vision. "Twelve dozen boxes and each box contains ten bags of a thousand pearls."


"Tell me you didn't count those. . ." Pat looks at her granddaughter.


"They're marked." The others shake their heads at the foolishness of some people. The boxes are moved to a corner as they're found as everybody gets back to work.


"Oh . . .Christ." Bethany says as she looks at the box in front of her then flips through the envelope. The others look at her.


"Swarovski crystals. . .but only twenty-five cases this time."


"What the fuck . ."


"She's an arteeste," Agatha says dryly. "Even if she couldn't use them right away she'd find a use for them. Jewelry or something else."


"Josette, Pat from Doc's dimension just called. She needs you to come out." Josette splits off a energy duplicate to take over what she'd been doing and heads off.


Josette leans her head on the dashboard in front of her and moans as Pat has her pull up in front of a familiar place. "Me, Pat, Bethany, Frances and Elaine, Sue, and Agatha are going through five containers of the stuff I picked up from this nutjob in Calvin's dimension. And that's just what I brought off the ship in the first trip." She says at her look.


Pat cackles despite herself then makes a solemn face. "It's not nice to insult people Josette, even if they are damn fools." She says chidingly.


"Oh pardon me, the stuff from this 'Arteeste' I picked up in Calvin's dimension. Did she refuse to pay for the fabric and supplies she ordered here too? The court made her pay for everything anyway even though she wanted a do-over and Daddy is making her pay him back for everything she brought with his money?"


"Oh yes, I take it you swooped in and got stuff?"


"Yeah, I got tons of stuff we just started sorting through. I filled five shipping containers on the ship that I use for this kind of stuff to bring it to the dorm and that was just a couple rooms, not counting the fabric."


"How bad?"


"Fifty cases of seed pearls according to the receipt Bethany found in a box. Not boxes. .. cases. Twelve dozen boxes in each case and ten bags of a thousand pearls each in each box. We'd found five cases when I left."


"Christ." Pat moans.


"Bethany found the invoice for twenty-five cases of Swarovski crystals just before Susan told me you'd called." Pat switches to another card before they walk inside. There's men and women following people with flatbed carts and two more follow them as they start walking through the full tables, with cases against the wall. Josette makes multiple trips out to the vehicle with the flatbeds, moving everything into various rooms when the people lifting everything into the back of her vehicle aren't looking.


Pat moans at the rolls of fabric. "Do you have the room for them?"


"Yes, but not enough racks."


"I'll make the racks, I gotta make some for me anyway. Are we taking what's left?"


"Yes, what I can't use you can."


Josette moans when she realizes there's more than the three warehouses she'd emptied before. It's stuff they can all use though and she'll make everything back up in Vegas. Pat chuckles, she's familiar with the look on her granddaughter's face.


"Vinetta would like to talk to you too. She just moaned when I told her how many other books you had in backlog."


A couple days later Vinetta looks up at the tap on her door and one of the pains in her backside grins at her from the door. "Pat said you wanted to talk to me and you'd found out how many books I really have."


"Yes, I knew you had a backlog but . . ."


"I do a lot of traveling and sometimes the damn bunnies jump you."


Josette parks her vehicle in a corner away from everybody and walks into her first casino in Vegas.


Charles chuckles a few hours later in the Tower. The others look at him. "Josette must be at the casino, a quarter million dollar check was just deposited into her account."


"That was quick even for Josette."


"That wasn't the big jackpot."




A few hours Pat nods at another deposit. "That was the big jackpot."


"Josette's going to replace every dime she spent, won't she?"


"I can take some of this off on my taxes as a business expense, she can't. She hasn't had enough big shows to need to get in the supplies she purchased. She probably could in Calvin's dimension."






The others look at her when she returns.


"Guess where Pat took me?"


Bethany is the first one for the penny to drop, falling on the floor cackling then waving a hand around them when the others look at her. They laugh too.


"How long were you gone?"


"About six months, I was talking with Vinetta about the books and visited a few places while I was out there."


"Vegas." Agatha mock-coughs.


"And Atlantic City." Josette says with a nod. "I visited a few places after I replaced all that money. . .and that's the same look Pat gave me. And has anybody ever gone on one of those special cruises that are geared. . ."


"To knitters or other textile people? I looked into them. .. Lord knows February was raw and it would have been nice to travel to someplace warm." Agatha says, her face growing dark. "The downside is they're usually put on by one manufacturer. . ." Nods from Sue, Frances, and Elaine. "You're stuck with their supplies and their viewpoint, the teachers were hired by them."


"But on the other hand you don't have to attend the classes, I'm sure there's plenty of other stuff on the ship you can do."


Josette nods. "Madison passed along brochures for a sci-fi/fantasy one. The big brass are over the moon about it but. .. "


"Those with common sense realize it's not the be all and end all they're hoping for?" Agatha snorts. They look at the clock and head towards the basement. Josette nudges Alexander and Michael. "We do not need wood for centuries, I got a call from Pat in Doc's world. . ."


"The damn fool did it there too?" David snorts. Josette sighs and nods. "Either she was more a fucking fool there or they sold a lot before I arrived. There's tons of wood drying on the ships. She wailed like a siren when she realized it couldn't be used right away. WWWWWWHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY sell it if we have to wwwwwaaaaiiiiiitttttt?" Alexander rolls his eyes but nods. "I've also got tons of metal, not counting the stuff that was just for jewelry making. Not one, not two, but three large looms to make fabric for her to decorate. And clay, wheels, and kilns. Pat and I went out for the sale and picked up tons before the sale ended and we purchased what was left since I had a way to quickly empty the buildings. I was moving rolls of fabric into stasis for two weeks straight once they put it on a room." Josette shows them a picture of Pat's new fabric room and the buildings of fabric on the ships.


"What was that woman thinking? All that fabric would have been rotten by the time she got to it." Bethany asks.


"She wasn't thinking." Frances snorts. Elaine, Sue, and Agatha nod in near unison.


"She was an arteeste and the people would instantly fall in love with her, fighting for her stuff so she needed all that." Josette snorts.


Josette's waved to the front room where Principal Madison asks a question. Josette nods and joins them in the back.


"Asking about supplies for the graduating students?"


"Yeah, we're getting four shipments this year, that should be enough for both years of students and the returning employees. If we need more we can replicate it."


"The bookstore?"


"Will be nearly empty by the time the last students and employees leave except for basic supplies."


"How are we on food?"


"Good and we're getting in supplies every other month until the school closes. Yes, the same size even though the student number has been halved. Granda wants us to have years in stasis." In the front room Principal Madison nods.


"Are you planting on the first planet this year?"


"Yes, I'm going out next week."


Josette comes back from planting on the first planet the next week, finding the sky dark when she returns.




"No, a few days snow and a couple more blowing everything out." David says from the couch where he's taking a break from a class. His godmother had given him the look and he's taking classes on both systems. Josette settles in a chair, one of the cats jumping in her lap.


"Are you in the same time period now? In Doc's world?"


"Yes, and yes I've got a list of . . .Michael, tell Alexander that Pat's hinting about another show now that we're in the homestretch on the special orders."


"I've been expecting it, they check the status of them whenever they come out." Michael says as he comes out of the studio. "This is one of those days that nothing will go the way you want." The other two nod as Michael and Alexander settle in the living room. Almost as soon as they finish a lesson the others join them in the living room.


A couple weeks later everybody goes out for Christmas, Josette joining the others at the manor a few hours later.


"Get talked into a cruise?" There's only one reason for that look.


"YYYYYeeeeesssssssss." She drawls. The others snigger.




"Mid-February. And Ellis is renting out a ship the end of February for his own cruise. I've got the information for both cruises."




Back on Haven Josette makes copies of the information on Ellis's cruise, putting them up in various buildings and calmly walking away at the same time. She can hear the screams and Agatha cussing her out through the shutting doors.


She leans back in the buildings. "Ellis is sponsoring it."


"Good, means more than one company's products." Agatha says. "Did you get tapped for a literary cruise?"


"Yeeeessssss, just a book signing though. . .no talk like some of the other authors." Everybody in the building laughs as they pass around the brochure and start a list of who's going. The fund for their purchases in the other dimension is good and they'll have two years of offworld harvests to replenish it before they go out after the school closes next year.


Midterms Josette goes out to pick up the first batch of supplies and walks into her cabin on the cruise ship, not the most expensive one but not the cheapest either. She can't complain though, like the book tours the publishing company is paying for it. Unpacking she pulls on a bathing suit, shorts, and a t-shirt. Wandering the deck while waiting for the ship to pull away from the dock and the lifeboat drills, she smiles and nudges various people she's met at signings or conferences.


"They got you too?" One of them asks with a sigh.


"Yes, though I'm just holding a book-signing, I'm not talking like you guys are."




"Same reason you are? Publishers think this will bring them more exposure and more sales?" Everybody in earshot nods vigorously.


"Richard, this is Josette Takahawa, she writes sci-fi/fantasy books. Josette, this is Richard Castle, he writes mysteries."


"And is one of the featured authors for this. . .crapshoot." He says sourly.








Josette slumps into the control seat of Aztec ten days later after she's stopped to the manor, took care of the empty pens, and did laundry. They detour past the city-ship, taking pictures of the trucks delivering supplies before they take off. Aztec sniggers as she turns around to find Josette asleep in the control chair. She'll take the slow route for a few days, let Josette recover from the cruise and work on the recycling she brought back.


The trip back from the other cruise is much more exciting as people talk about what they'd purchased, the new products coming out that were introduced on the cruise. . .everybody has grab bags of samples, and new books beyond Josette's.


"Did Ellis have you take what was left?" Agatha asks, standing next to the command chair where Josette is devouring a large sandwich. She nods and pops the last of the sandwich in her mouth.


"Yes, I've got about two and a half buildings of stuff that had to be moved off the ship I'll sort through . . .eventually." Agatha snickers. David opens the tesseract and she and house elves move purchases to various homes and buildings before she flies back to the dorm.


"Is that it for a while?" Doc asks as she lands outside the dorm. Pat's purchases had already arrived at Headquarters so he knew she'd be arriving soon.


"Yeah, I'm done until I have to go in finals to take in the recycling and pick up supplies." She brings her own stuff out of subspace.


"Laundry?" Susan asks as Josette takes her bags upstairs.


"We did it on the trip back. Everybody's going to be busy putting stuff away. And looking at how much money was spent on the account and seeing what they can put back with the offworld harvests. At least what they put on it."


"And then some." Alan snorts as he walks through. "I moved the school's recycling to Ulonda."


"Thank you, I figured we'd have to in a few days, it was beginning to stack up."


"Garbage?" Doc asks.


"We're going to be taking care of it finals. After next year we should be able to go back to handling it twice a year. With just the two dumpsters it won't take but an hour."


Josette puts the books away in the building for her classes, looking at the filling shelves.


"What degree are you taking now?" David asks, putting his own stuff away.


"Third one from Timely, I have four degrees on that one and five from National before we start hitting the comics code 12 degree section."


"Is the school still getting a lot of purchases?"


"Oh yes, even the serious collectors are ordering from them. They always have at least flyers at comicons and the comic book stores. If not tables."


David opens the tesseract for the returning students and employees at the school. A woman wails as she's dragged away from the school grounds.


"What the fuck is her problem?"


"Stupid woman claimed we had to be lying about the last of the students being offplanet, we have to have killed them and are just stealing money from their parents."


"The parents see them four times a year. Five times this year with the dual Christmases."


"We have to be funning her."


"Fucking fool."




Josette settles on the couch when she returns to the manor, opening her eyes when a mug is pushed into her hand. Opening her eyes she finds Lady Simone smiling at her. "Get everything moved here and there?"


"And everywhere." Josette sighs and sips the hot chocolate.


"Was Marcus there when you delivered the stuff for the show and the special orders?" Alexander asks as he walks through.


"No, he's off with a broken foot. His second in command is in charge and he had people moving stuff for the show and making calls as they marked off the special orders."


"He finally kick that damn door?" Marcus had always threatened to give a sticking door a good swift kick.


"No, some woman came in with her yappy lap dog and the leash got tangled around his leg. Of course she huffed off at being so disrespected. . .her precious poochie couldn't possibly have caused the accident. She screeched like a opera star when she got her ass sued for his damages and ten people who have been damaged by the fool woman and her dog came to the court. Since she had a history of this shit she got slapped with a fine on top of having to pay his damages and was told to leave the damn dog at home."


Hannah moans. "I know which woman you're talking about, she howled at being told that. Who are they to tell her what to do. Stupid bitch took the dog in to court to prove it couldn't possibly be poopsie's fault and it started humping the bailiff's leg."


The others howl with laughter.


"Yep. So she's traumatized that everybody knows she's a damn fool. She's taken to her deathbed."


"And none of this would have happened if she'd trained her damn dog?"


"But only common people train their pets." Calvin drawls as he walks through.


"That stupid woman get taken care of?" Lady Simone asks.


"Yes, she wailed that we have to have been hiring actors but the judge recognized both some of the parents and the students so she got her ass handed to her and told to leave us the fuck alone."


A few weeks later David opens the tesseract back on Haven, students and employees heading to the auditorium as Josette delivers supplies to various buildings.


"Get everything dropped off?" David asks after lunch.


"Yeah, maintenance will be moving everything to various buildings so I can take the empty containers back in a couple months. With the buildings we're not having containers stack up." The others nod in satisfaction.





Josette brings out two ships, one with everybody from the school to watch the liftoff of the city-ship live and in person as it were while the second is busy picking up supplies. She moves everything off the ship when she returns, flying back to the dorm when she's done.


"Did you get your supplies?"


"Yeah, I left it on the ship for now. I wasn't expecting all this stuff from dumbass when I put in the order." Susan sniggers. "I delivered the supplies for the stores, Agatha was already opening the containers before I got them all dropped off." The others snigger. "So was everybody else."


"Are the students dropping off belongings yet?"


"Yes, I dropped off some while I was out to pick up the supplies. Even if the drop-off areas aren't full I want to keep ahead on it since we've got so many students returning home this year." Principal Madison nods in satisfaction as he walks through.


"Is this it for the supplies for the graduating students and employees?"


"Two more shipments, one before the Harvest Festival and after Thanksgiving. We should be emptying the building then."


Josette grins as she gets a large databurst from Becka, settling in to look it over and passing it along to Calvin.


Calvin looks up at the beep and sees the massive attachment, reading the message and starting the download. Jane looks over at him. "Josette passing along information from Becka, their city-ship is on their second tour, this time ten years around the sun." Once the download is completed he looks everything over and passes it along to the proper authorities who moan and make plans for their future trips.


The others begin coming out a week before the Harvest Festival, Calvin finding Josette bringing out the last of the moving supplies for the students, filling the shelves and putting the partial boxes left over on the floor.


"Looking good."


"It will be empty by midterms when the students should have everything sent off except what they absolutely need for the last two months of school." Principal Madison says behind his father. Calvin nods. "Josette, the other room?"


"I'm filling it right now and putting everything else in the basement."


"Students books and supplies?"


"Working on them right now." The two men nod in satisfaction.


Josette moans a couple days later.


"David, the comic book school is sponsoring a comicon cruise. You interested?"


"No, but don't let me stop you." he chuckles as Josette fills out the form and sends it back with her payment. "I'm sure they'll have people there who had never been to a con before wondering what the hell is going on."


"Probably." Josette looks through the databurst and cackles, holding the PADD over her head. Whoever had walked up behind her takes it, the moan tells her it's Richard.




"Some damn fool woman whining because she couldn't get the city-ship run the way she wanted. But you've got to have cars .. .you can't have them walking everywhere? What? What do you mean no. You've got to have cars in a city. WHAT? What do you mean fumes would poison everybody? Open the damn window people. WWWWHHHHAAATTTTT!!! What do you mean that would kill everybody. Everybody knows there's air in space. . .you're just funning me. She was gonna sue, they'd have to do what she wanted."




"And she sued?"


"Yep and the judge told her she was too fucking stupid to live. So now she wants her owncity-ship so she could prove they could do what she wanted. But she whined at how much it would cost. . . wasn't the government going to build it for her? She was special."


"Fucking fool." Somebody mutters.


"Amen. Anyway she's going to prove you don't need oxygen to run a car."


"Good riddance to bad rubbish." Lady Simone snorts. "She'll probably argue with god that she's right. . .she can't be dead."


"Oh please, somebody will save the damn dumb bitch." Hannah snorts. "Then she'll whine about being saved. . .they did it to keep from being proved wrong."


"Yes, I can see the damn fool doing just that and getting her ass handed to her by the courts for being too stupid to live." Bronwen says. "Josette, what did you bring back from Ellis's cruise? We're looking at a second one." Josette finds the list on the server once Richard's handed the PADD back to her and she hands it to Bronwen.


"Hmmm, not bad compared to how much I know he took out to the ship." Bronwen says as she looks at the list. "Thank you for taking that, I know you were already overloaded with the stuff from that fool woman."


"Did you pass some of the jewelry making supplies to Becka?" Pat asks as she walks through.


"She attended her own sale." Josette looks over her shoulder at Pat. "Or 'I'm sorting through everything I brought there' is what she said when I e-mailed her."


"Oh jeez, was that woman stupid everywhere?" Bronwen looks at her.


"God I hope not. But she, Paddy, and Melissa went out to the sale and the house elves emptied the trucks ten times. And they were already fifteen times larger on the inside. They brought everything that was left, it's on Mars since Becka had the empty buildings they could put everything in until they sort everything out. Becka said Marilyn woke her up moaning about everything she brought, she told her not to look at the other stuff and she showered, brushed her teeth, dressed, and was waiting at the kitchen table with the others before she stopped calling her a damn fool." The others laugh. "She calmed down when Becka explained her, Melissa, and Paddy had brought everything that was left over. . .it was just up there because she had the room."


"While Paddy had the room but you can't just leave this stuff outside." Bethany says. Josette nods as she looks at the time and gets up to join the others walking to dinner.


"Did you debut some of your new books?"


"Yes, I took out two books for the boys show and I'm taking out the same two books for my show in a few weeks." The others nod in satisfaction.


"Was the demand good?"


"Oh yes, I was signing books for hours. Not so many old books, they've seen to have gotten those signed already."


"Wait until the crowing starts about how they got the first two new books, I'm sure you'll have new people coming out to have books signed." Bronwen snorts. The others nod.


"Are you doing it every year still?"


"Every other or maybe even every three years." The others nod in satisfaction. "How many books do you have?"


"I've got seventeen printed and ten more finished but not printed. The remaining nine are all in the working on them stage."


The next day Josette looks in her studio and sighs, bringing out piles of worn out clothes for patchwork quilts in two boxes.


"I thought you must be running low on them." Pat says from the doorway. "You need some?" Pat nods and Josette's eyes glaze over, two more boxes appearing in the room set aside for old clothes in Headquarters. "Do you need any more stuff for braided rugs?"


"Not right now, do you have fabric put aside?"


"Yeah, I have about eight boxes of stuff that's just above 'toss it in the replicator' stage."


"We can have a day where you bring out a box and people buy what they want for rugs." Agatha says later that afternoon. Everybody nods around them. "Lord knows we don't lack for time to braid them during the winter and we can buy time of the machines to sew them."


"Hell, we could even rip them and braid them here during quiet times." Marilyn snorts. "Make them up and have a pile of them for sale." The others nod.


A few days after the Harvest Festival Josette fills a container from the ship, taking it out to the dorm and putting everything away.


Faster than she would have sworn she's taking the students out for the second Christmas that year, a few students taking belongings home with them as she drops off stuff at the office.


"Is this everything?" Jane asks.


"Should be, the floor monitors are good at having the students pack up their belongings. And the later in the year the more they realize 'oh shit, I gotta heft all this home with me if I don't get my ass in gear." Maria sniggers and nods.


Several weeks later for them they return to Haven, the students and employees heading off while Josette is delivering supplies to various buildings before they lift off again to visit the other dimensions for Christmas.


Josette looks at the screens, more empty tables now that the seniors had graduated and went home. The school had been empty before when they had taken students out for graduation or after semesters for snacks and whatnot but the quiet had been different knowing that the school was closed closed. Even though the spa had been doing brisk business and they'd seen people moving in the other buildings.


"Are all the supplies in the administration building now?"


"Yeah, the supply room is full, the extra room is full, and the overflow in the basement is full."


"Is the basement of the bookstores empty?"


"Yep, the few extra supplies that had been down there are now in closets on each floor. What they do get in the shipments will go in the closets or on the shelves." The others nod in satisfaction.


"How many dorms do we have open now?"


"Two. The rooms have been looked through for anything major in the way of damages before the students left but they'll start the major work next spring now that they're empty." The others nod.


"Did you start bringing your order out?"


"Yeah, I brought out a container of stuff after the Harvest Festival. Even with all that shit I brought back I was running low on stuff." The others snigger.


"Josette, are you bringing out more stuff?"


"Yeah, I'm bringing out three more rooms of containers this week. This way I have a list of everything in the rooms, I can put stuff together as needed, and if I find I need something in the containers it can stay at the dorm."


"And as you do bring stuff out you can update your lists."


Josette nods.


"We'll be out seventh day." Frances call from the front room. Elaine nods. Josette sends out a message to the others, getting responses back before the meal is over.


"How many rooms have you sorted through?"


"Eleven, not counting these three."


"And how many do you have to sort through?"


"Too damn many, both from that sale, the other sale, and what I picked up after the cruise." Josette sighs. "If need be I'll sort through everything next year during the second offworld harvests. This way though everybody has a chance to look through stuff."


"You never know you need anything until it's there in front of you?"


"Or seeing it brings the muse howling." Frances and Elaine nod in the front room as Principal Madison repeats what Josette is saying.


Principal Madison looks at the latest databurst from the other dimension, blinks, reads it again, and passes the PADD to Josette at the first government meeting of the new year.


"Do I want to know?" President Bartlett asks.


Josette reads the message, sighs, then laughs. "I'm sure Granda is calling them ten different kinds of fool." David, President Bartlett, and Doc look at them. "Some damn fool wanting Granda to open a credit union at the school . . .all the cool schools are doing it."


"The school is closed." President Bartlett says slowly.


"But you're helping young people with their future." Principal Madison bleats.


"There are no young people."


"But this way you're on the ground floor when they do start having children again." Josette crows in a fake 'seeee' voice.


"Doesn't Calvin already have a bank in town and a credit union in the school?" Doc asks dryly.


"A branch of the bank at the school, not a credit union. Which they're wailing about. A credit union is sssssoooo much better because they're not for profit. The school is going to turn the students into miniature Gordon Gecko's or whatever Michael Douglas's character's name was in Wall Street." Doc sighs as President Bartlett rolls his eyes. "Yeah, I'm sure they'll be a blubbering 'but they should do what I want in the next databurst."


"Offworld harvests?"


"Should be starting our third testing week, I'll put the lists up on the servers after midterms."


"Special day at Ellis'?"


"After Thanksgiving, we'll make the date final later this year."





Josette unpacks her bag in the cabin then signs in at the tables for the con, smiling as she sees the school president.


"Good morning Ms. Takahawa, I'm glad that you were able to join us."


"I love cons, it's always interesting to see newbies wondering what the hell they walked into." The woman behind the table laughs and nods.


"Oh my godddddd," A high pitched male voice shrieks. "You're Josette Takahawa."


Josette turns around and grins. "I am."



Three weeks later Josette collapses onto the couch at the mansion, falling instantly asleep. A couple hours later she's eating pizza and salads after starting her laundry. A few days later she returns to Haven,


"Spend too much money?" Alan chuckles as she returns to the dorm. She nods and waves a hand. "Stop to Vegas or Atlantic City to get back all the money?" Another nod and waved hand. "You should look into the gambling cruises."


Josette makes a rude sound. "Overrated, you're not actually going anywhere, if I want to sit and gamble I'll do it in a casino. Same reason I don't want to go on a Disney cruise."


"This was a con for your school, a double reason for you to attend."


"Exactly." Josette spends the rest of the morning and that afternoon sorting through everything.


"Are we seeing belongings beginning to be packed up?"


"Yes, Joyce says we're getting people getting packing supplies as they take stock of everything they have and what they need to send back first. I don't see any containers going out until the end of the semester at the earliest." In the front room Principal Madison nods.


The offworld harvest start coming in, Josette emptying the drying tables on the first planet until the weather warms enough so they dry instead of freeze being put outside on Haven. On the way back from a harvest she fills more containers from the rooms, bringing them out when she returns to Haven. Pat sighs when she walks past the room, finding it full of containers.


"Josette. . ." she says in her best patient voice when Josette returns to the dorm. Since everybody is sniggering she knows it's not very patient.


"This finishes a floor. That's the only reason I brought so many out. And some of them are machines." Pat nods in satisfaction. "I'm not opening them right away, I gotta work on my thesis this summer."


"I was going to ask how you're coming."


"I'll be three semesters in Thanksgiving and figure on presenting the thesis next summer when I finish the classes." Pat nods in satisfaction.


"Comic book school?"


"I'll be finished with the third Timely degree this fall, I'll start the third National degree next year. I've got five from National and four more from Timely before I start hitting the 'comic code' degrees."


"Were some of your teachers on the cruise?" Susan asks as she walks past, chucking her garbage underhanded into the replicator.


"Yes, and some big names from the comics. Think the big comicons but on a ship instead of a hotel. The lectures were well attended and they were all taped and are for sale at the school. They're also going to be guest lecturing at the school, students get in free and they'll have a lottery for tickets for non-students. Again with DVDS sold at the school." David snickers. "Sounds like President Bartlett's lectures before he started teaching here."


Josette snorts. "Even after he taught here." The others laugh and nod, Pat joining them as they walk to the dining hall for lunch.


"How many containers did you bring out, I didn't bother to count."


"Fifty-two." In the front room Frances sighs. Josette grins. "Relax, I've got the offworld harvests yet and I'm working on my thesis this summer. And part of those are machinery." She nods in satisfaction. "I finished a floor, that's the only reason I brought so many out."


A few weeks later the last of the offworld harvests are in and Josette slumps onto the couch. Closing her eyes, she gets in a twenty minute power nap until Doc's quiet chuckling makes her open one ey.


"Are the offworld harvests done now?"


"Yes, now it's just taking out the students and employees belongings until the second harvests are ready to pick up."


"Are you letting Buckaroo in on the plants?"


"Yes, I'm sending off messages to them, Lee, and Harry in the morning."


Doc nods in satisfaction.


Buckaroo stares at the pictures of the plants, Lee and Harry moaning at the information on the submarines the ships had found in the records. The other plants that go into ship operation are also moaned over. The talk turns technical and even with being bonded to spaceships and TARDISES it quickly flies over her head. A bunny latches onto her ankle and she mumbles something rude, grabbing her PADD and making notes before heading out into the other room.


"So are universities shutting down too?" Bethany asks.


"Some, mostly the schools that the adult students are only a fraction of their student population so once they got their degrees they shut down too. The schools with larger adult student populations weren't as badly affected. The larger the school. . ."


"The less it's affected. Oxford would be business as usual." Pat says behind them. "Just like Calvin's school is going on without a problem."


"And my comic book school is a niche school. Assyrian and Edinborough would be unaffected too."


"Where's Doc? I thought he was with you?" Pat looks around.


"I introduced Buckaroo, Lee, and Harry to the plants. I might be the one bonded to TARDISES and spaceships but their scientific talk went right over my head." Bethany and Pat snigger.


10th planet Buckaroo walks out of the switching chamber. "Josette introduced me to the plants." Doc smiles. "She says yours should be producing seeds. She also sent out some more." they go over the list, 9th planet Buckaroo doing the same in Eureka with the others. Between all of them they have some duplicates but they also have a good selection of plants.


Calvin smiles as Josette walks into the administration building, waving a hand and bringing out piles of boxes and containers.


"Students who need shipped, students who can be picked up, students who need to be sent to embassies, employees who can be picked up, and employees to be shipped." Maria smiles at the files that are sent to her. "Socks. .." a much smaller pile of containers, "And I already stopped at the spa." Jane chuckles and starts opening the containers. The news is on the television and Josette moans and shakes her head at a story.


"Yes, the towns are wailing that they're not getting as much money as the state allows them, the traffic stops are all legal. .. but nobody's believing them and they're either losing their jobs because people are voting them out in special elections or they're losing their jobs after being arrested. And the police are howling as every traffic stop for years is being investigated and 99% of them over the last five years have been thrown out. The same names are on the stops and they've been put on unpaid leave. . .not by their own departments of course, but the state who took them all over."


"Oooohhhh, of course." Josette drawls. "And they wail that they're not getting the reputation they want in the communities.


"No, they're getting the reputation they deserve." Calvin snorts as he comes into the office.


"The lawsuit?"


"Dismissed with extreme prejudice and they went off wailing at not being given the new complex we're putting up. They can't compete. . .once the schools start filling up again everybody will already know our school and they'll come here instead." He mock-whines.


"And the fact that even if they do apply it's not an automatic acceptance?" Jane drawls.


"That's not the point. . .they'd be second choice."


"Idiots should be used to it by now. Anybody with half a brain is using this time to work on their courses and add more classes if possible." Maria snorts. "At the very least doing work on the buildings."


"You said it yourself. .. half a brain. Which these whiners don't have." Jane snorts as they empty the first container of socks. "They're in it for the quick money and power, let somebody else do all the hard work for me while I reap the benefits."






That weekend while the menfolk are looking over the rough draft of Josette's thesis and even more rough dissertation Josette brings out everything from the first container after the others have counted how many containers she brought out and moaned. Agatha had given her an evil look until learning some of this was machinery and Suzie had sniggered at the look on her mother's face.


"How damn foolish was this woman?"


"Damn foolish, from the databursts she spent a week whining and threatening to sue to get everything back, pouting when everybody laughed at her. She was also whining about being poor, having to work, and paying her own bills. Her father had told her to put aside some money in the work dimension because she'd need it for rent, bills, and groceries until she can start getting a paycheck."


"And of course she didn't." Frances says, rolling her eyes. "Because Daddy has to have been funning her."


"Yes, she waltzed right back into the house and got waltzed right back out again by the police. She howled when she realized Daddy wasn't wiping her ass anymore, she ended up at a homeless shelter and they helped her find a job and a cheap, cheap, cheap place to live. As in five or six people sharing it."


"Hopefully the dumbass realized she's a goddamn moron and went back to the work dimension." Agatha snorts.


"From what I heard . . .yes. . . after spending days cleaning out cans in the drop-off centers. Of course she still thinks she's an arteeste who's going to show them when she becomes instantly rich and famous. . ." The others roll their eyes.


"Offworld harvests?"


"Midterms third semester, I'll start picking them up after I take the last of the students and employees belongings back to the school." Josette empties three containers and they start opening boxes and starting another list. When she returns the containers to the ship she'll sort them into new buildings and update the list there.










Josette sighs as the last of the teachers and employees hug them before they walk through the tesseract David has opened.


"It doesn't get any damn easier." She sighs.


"No it doesn't but we knew for a while it wouldn't last forever." David pats her on the shoulder. They head off to the mansion, Principal Madison and Josette attending various meetings over the next few days.


"How long?"


"At least ten years before we start seeing births, fifteen years after that before we have the need to move beyond a one room schoolhouse type learning situation. By then we might have more classes for each year."


"And probably a dozen years after that before we see the need for more than one school in the larger areas." Somebody else says and the others nod. He looks at Calvin and Principal Madison almost apologetically. "And decades after that before we need a boarding school."


"I don't know, there's always going to be damn fools who have kids and shove them off on somebody else no matter what." Somebody else sighs. "At least you two aren't putting all your eggs in one basket."


"No, the school is just a fraction of what we have." Principal Madison says, his father nods. His phone rings and he excuses himself to answer it. "No, we're not putting up a credit union at our school because you don't wike the idea of us having a bank here. And we're sure as not doing it at our expense. Go. Away.Now! Go ahead and sue you stupid . . ." The phone is taken from him and the other man . ..who is his boss pins the little shit's ears back.


"I told you to leave them the hell alone and I fucking meant it you little shit. That doesn't mean call them threatening to sue the minute I'm out of the office. Did you really think I wouldn't learn what you were up to?"


"But wwwwwwwhhhhhhhhhyyyyyyyyy won't you make them build a credit union on their school grounds?" He wails in the other man's office the next day.


"Because they don't fucking want or need it. Now get the hell over it. . .and yourself."


"But it will help the students." he whines.


"There aren't any students you goddamn stupid sack of shit."


"But people will have to flock to the credit union to support the school." He wails. "I'll go over your head, they'll have to build the credit union or I'll have the school shut. . ." The rest of his threat trails off as security drags his useless ass out of the office as he's summarily fired. His belongings are packed up and a very quiet man picks them up the next day, rumor has it his father had cussed him out long and loud the night before for being to damn dumb to live. Especially when it was revealed that he was getting kickbacks from the owners of the credit union that he was insisting be put in schools.


"Yeah, I figured there had to be a reason why the asswipe was so gungho about getting a credit union on the school grounds. Not for profit doesn't mean there aren't any coming in."


"Worse than that, I've heard stories about money laundering." Jane says as she settles in front of Calvin's desk as Josette floats in midair and Principal Madison leans against the window for the last meeting before they head back to Haven.


"Wouldn't surprise me at all. They were expecting members to come swooping in and by the time it made the rounds of the credit unions nobody could say anything." Josette snorts. "Why else would they want to have multiple branches of credit unions at schools that aren't open?”


"Nobody would expect a school to be laundering money."


"Buffalo chips, we've had agents here fucking monthly like clockwork when the branch opened along with people investigating the bank until their bosses told them to grow the fuck up." Jane snorts. "Josette, are you still keeping the yarn orders the same?"


"Unless you need more, I swear people must be eating the damn socks as often as I refill the containers." Maria cackles from the front room. "Wouldn't surprise me at all."


"The newest diet craze, eat all you want and never gain an ounce. . . but you won't like it when it comes out the other end."


"Gives a whole new meaning to fiber and cleanses."


Calvin sighs. "I'm sure some fool would try it until somebody with sense knocked them even stupider."



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