David sits down in his seat at the government building for the next government meeting. "Okay, Josette's going to be a few minutes late, she's got a dozen other selves on the ships taking inventory of everything that was created by the machine. She's also heading off to Calvin's dimension after the meeting to drop of the socks and other stuff and pick up the order."
Doc and Principal Madison nod. A couple minutes later Josette and President Bartlett walk into the room. "Okay, I picked up the last pallets to go to the other dimension."
"Has the first boxes of stuff for Archimedes and the 9th planet been put aside?" Principal Madison asks Josette.
"Yep." Josette yawns as she looks outside. "Oh fucking rain already." She tells the dark sky. Doc chuckles, it had been threatening rain all morning. Even if it turns out to be freezing rain it will at least be over with.
Josette slides into a seat at the school when she sees Maria and Jane are on their phones and Calvin's door is shut. Getting on her PADD she sorts through her e-mail until one of them finishes their calls.
"Gods, save me from idiots who complain just to complain." Maria mutters. "Asshats learned about us owning the mall and are up in arms that there will be a mall on the school grounds. When they found out the mall is elsewhere in the city they sulk and pout and try to get it away from us because we will be tainting the children. The courts toss out their complaints and they sulk and try to get us to do what they want. Which is turn the mall over to them."
"How's the construction?"
"Good, the newspapers are full of stories about it and they're sulking because they could have brought the mall. Now we're showing profits on something they didn't think was viable."
"Because so many damn malls are sitting half-empty since the zero-population period ended."
"That and strip malls. And just plain streets in a lot of large cities." Jane drawls as she ends the call. "We weren't expecting you so early Josette."
"I had to spend the last couple days in court. Some asswipe was trying to get me declared incompetent so they could get the land. . .uhhh, no. Some moron trying to claim I'm stealing her books but since she doesn't have any proof she wrote them and Madison had the contracts and everything else. She's wailing in a jail cell that she could have wrote my books since she's tried taking credit for other people's work before."
"Oh hell, I know who you're talking about now." Jane moans. She says a name and Josette nods. "She's got a history of this shit."
"Yep, some asswipe is whining because the publishing house is making his darling friend look like a moron in the book, the moron's wailing because not only is he not getting oodles and gobs of money as payment for his friends hurt feewings he's not getting the business and we're both suing the bastard." Calvin moans from the door of his office. "When the hell will they stop claiming they're the damn victims. . .they're stupid fools who need a good swift kick."
"That's what one of the people in the courtroom said after the case was dismissed. His idiot friend is sulking because nobody's kissing his ass. He came off as a goddamn idiot on the video but rather than putting his damn balls back on he's whining because everybody's being mean to him. Hopefully the morons won't be breeding or the kids have some damn good influence in their lives."
"Hopefully the kids are taken away from them because any person they'd have kids with are just as stupid as them." Jane snorts.
"Are you going to be here a while?"
"Yeah, the house is talking one last tour before I 'retire' and I want to stay on the land for a while, I've heard rumors about that asshat who can't believe we won't build his damn masterpiece trying something. He had to go to the work dimension and then get a real job. . .the poor baby is heartbroken."
"But we didn't get the land away from her. . .so it's not fair you're trying to put us in prison."
"No gentlemen, and I use that term sarcastically. . ." the judge drawls. "what wasn't fair was your fantastic attempts to circumvent the law. That is her land, not yours."
"But they have so much. . .we'd have let her keep the house. . .we just put up malls and apartment buildings around her. As punishment for not kissing our asses. NO! No you can't send us to prison."
"Oh yes I can. . .gentlemen." He sneers. "You knew what you were doing was illegal. . .you just got your 'feewing's hurt when the young woman told you no. Enjoy your last years in prison. . .which is better than you would have done for Ms. Takahawa. Take them away."
"I see we're going to have to add a law saying that trying to get control of a person for illegal purposes is just as many years." He tells his bailiff as the court reporter covers her machine.
"Why do they continue to try to steal her land?"
"Because they dream of malls, apartment buildings. . .you name it. And they'd rather steal her land than pay what a comparable tract would be worth."
"And the fact there's tons of empty homes, apartments, and stores?"
"Ohhhh. .. .everybody will come flocking to it. . .because they built it. Just like that fool who's wailing because his magnificent plans for the realtor dimension fell through and nobody will let him build it here."
"Experts have looked at his magnificent plans. . .they didn't pass muster. If he tried building them here they'd be condemned. It was only the realtor dimension and the lack of pesky building codes that had a chance of building them." The court reporter snorts as she joins them at the door.
"Really?" The bailiff asks.
The court reporter brings up a site on her phone and shows it to the two men. "And I'm sure the fool would blubber about how they hadn't performed necessary upkeep on his masterpieces when they fell down around their ears."
"Or complained about changes they made to the buildings to keep from having them fall down around their ears." the judge snorts.
Josette snickers as she slides into her seat at dinner later that day Haven time. "You won't see it in this latest databurst since I was out there a few months but the government had enough of the whining of the fools who were on my planet and tossed their asses in another dimension the fifteenth time they tried to sue claiming people were making fun of them. Well, all but that dumb bitch who's in prison. They got the same damn supplies they got before and they're keeping an eye on them. . .nobody expects them to make it out of there alive."
"Nope, they'll do something stupid and kill themselves." Principal Madison sighs. "What brought this on?"
"Some asshat whining because the publishing house was making his good friend look like an idiot with the book."
"Real life already made his friend look like an idiot." Professor Parker snorts.
"Yes, the bastard was wailing because not only wasn't he getting oodles and gobs of money for his friend's hurt feelings, he wasn't getting the publishing house."
"Goddamn idiot," Dr. Hazlitt drawls. "I hope the fool was sent out to the colony,"
"Yep, moron was sulking he didn't get to come along on the first trip until he realized how badly everybody came off. Now he's part of the second colony and was setting up a fuss."
"How long were you out?"
"Just before we came out for the show. Dumbass is still trying to get Marcus to use the family's gallery, he's hoping a big show will get him back in control . ..his family is making him work a real job." she mock boohoohoos and everybody laughs.
"And the fool who caused all this by demanding our night?" Alexander drawls.
"Heartbroken. . .absolutely heartbroken. People are still talking bad about her and while people are looking over her table at the flea market. . .they're not buying. Not that they were buying before. . . she was sure a show would show up her 'loser' customers and make them start buying. Because she's special damn it. . .they're just too stupid to realize it. It can't possibly be because her stuff is absolute crap."
"Oh, of course not." Professor Druid drawls. "Anything else?"
"I damn near killed that stupid little shit from the realtor dimension. . .he's heartbroken at being made to work for a living. If he could get on my land and talk to me. . .weeeellllllll, the bastard won't be talking to anybody except the guards and other prisoners, he got six months in jail for trying to get on my land. And he was told if he bothered me again, I could shoot the bastard. . .by his own family. They've washed their hands of his stupid ass. They fucking told him to get the fuck over the idea of his grand masterpiece ever being built. . .people with some damn sense looked over the his plans and told him they would have been condemned there on Earth. There was no structural support for his grand halls in the McMansions and dear god people would never pay the money he wanted for his houses without some damn space. .. the only place he'd make the kind of money he was looking at was Manhattan where you spend a damn million for a parking space."
"Or someplace like Miami or other high end community. Even the damn regular houses would bring in millions." President Bartlett murmurs. Everybody nods. "His problem he thought he was all that and people would come flocking to his homes."
Josette snorts. "Just like the morons who wanted to own another planet so they could sell honorarium plots that nobody could even stand on but they could crow about how they owned land on another planet."
"Unlike you and the other farmers who actually own a lot of land but that's because you actually farm it, you don't own the land to make yourself look good."
"Anything else happen while you were out there?"
"Just a bunch of whiny fools. Some morons are wailing about the school having a mall. . .they pouted when they realized the mall wasn't on the school grounds. Idiots wanted the mall in the first place but didn't want to pay for it. . .now they see it's turning around. .."
"And want to take it from the people who brought it and who are making it profitable? Figures." Principal Madison snorts. "Anything else?"
"Oh gods yes, some moron trying to declare me incompetent and get control of my finances so they can have the land. . .after all it would be their land then, they wouldn't have stolen it. Ummmm no, enjoy prison asswipe. Some moron trying to claim I stole the books from her. . .enjoy prison bitch cause this isn't the first time you tried to take credit for somebody else's hard work. The thieving and just plain idiots are getting more notice now because they're not hiding in the maddening crowd." The others laugh but nod.
"Okay, do I need to move stuff to the ship?" She asks Alexander and Michael a few minutes later.
"Not yet, you just took some out a couple months ago." Alexander yawns, looking out the window. The rain had finally arrived and it had turned into freezing rain. They'll be using the tunnels until further notice.
Back at the dorm Josette passes along the information on the new 'colony' to the other planets and the other dimensions, the news is met with sighs and snickering. "Always got to be somebody making a fuss." Hank King says on the 9th planet. The others nod, some from the other dimension still getting used to the heroic son of their enemy. . .and Sylvester is getting used to the idea that he's his sister's son.
"Yes, and if they ever grow up they realize how damn stupid they were and become better human beings for it."
"That type of personality never does."
"Nope." Everybody thinks about people lost on their planet to the war thanks to one man's greed and stupidity.
"Are you fucking stupid? No, that girl only disappeared fifteen years ago, the location where the body is supposedly buried has had a house on it for over fifty years. You want to swoop in with ground penetrating radar and since the ground has to be absolutely bare that means taking out all the trees and tearing down the buildings. Correction, I know you're stupid and you must think everybody in the world is as stupid as you are. The answer Mr. Danton is NO."
"Especially since the young woman is not missing, she's been living in Miami for the last ten years after graduating from university." Another man says as he walks into the room with a file that he slaps in front of them.
"Damn it Jenkins, you were supposed to find us a missing person case they couldn't solve." the man who'd wanted the land leveled snaps and slaps another person. Who punches him right back. "You're the moron who chose the person asswipe, not me. You didn't want anybody with any family so the publicity would be all on you. . .not them."
"Oh yeah." They're soon pulled apart and housed in different cells.
"We just got a call. . .Danton's brother was arrested trying to move heavy equipment onto the land. operative word tried. .the shields turned it onto so much scrap metal. He was wailing about his machinery being destroyed when a woman damn near took his head off with the stock of a shotgun. He's wailing in a cell and threatening to sue for the cost of his machinery but since he was trying to trespass and destroy private property the guards are calling him a goddamn fool."
"But all those trees coming into my business would have made me millions." The man whines as he's arraigned in front of a judge. "I. . .I might have jumped the gun a little, but I'm sure the courts would have given me the trees. After all. . .that poor child. . ."
"Is alive and well and living in Miami after going to university." The judge drawls. "No court would have allowed your brother to tear down all those trees and their home in a vain attempt to find a body. . .that doesn't exist." He is dragged off screaming it wasn't fair. . .he deserved all those trees.
"Dear god, is it just me or are people absolutely stupid?" he asks after the room has emptied for the lunch break.
"No, it's not just you." His bailiff sighs. "They come up with these damn outlandish schemes to steal the land from the rightful owners and end up wailing it's not fair when they're sentenced to life in prison. I'm sure this group would have swooped in after they didn't locate the missing body and magnanimously taken the land off their hands."
"I'd have ordered they return the land to the way it was before they came on it. Which might have stopped them in the first place."
"They'd have declared bankruptcy and left the homeowner with nothing. Because the trees would magically have disappeared along with any money they made from them." A court employee snorts as she walks into the room. "Sorry to bother you Judge James, the police have a warrant that you need to sign."
He takes the paper, looks it over, and takes the pen, signing it at the defendants table. She takes it in thanks and hands it over to an officer.
Josette shakes her head as she reads the databurst on Haven from when this had happened on Earth. She's suing everybody involved and so is the young woman that had been used as a 'victim' to get the land. Her missing person's case had never been closed because one had never been opened. She didn't have any remaining family and that's one of the reasons dumbass had used her as a victim.
"But I was so sure that we would get the courts on our side. A poor child. . nobody was looking for her. . . the publicity would have been perfect for us. We could have tweaked the nose of the police department because they'd never bothered to look for her."
"Because anybody who would have bothered enough to report her missing would have fucking known she'd moved for school. Idiot." His lawyer snorts. "Enjoy prison asswipe. . .maybe enough of you greedy bastards spending life in prison will make others stop trying to steal land."
"But that takes sense." The jailer snorts. "Time's up."
"I was done anyway."
"But it's only been an hour. . .how is he going to get me out of here in that amount of time?"
"Moron, you aren't getting out of here. That small cell. . .get used to it. . .you're going to be in there for the rest of your life." His lawyer snorts as he gathers everything up. "And no, it's not no harm no foul. . .You didn't get to do what you wanted so you shouldn't be punished." He pushes away from the table as dumbass wails as he's dragged to his feet and taken back to the cell.
Josette snorts as she walks through the grandiose mansion that dumbass lives in. "Oh gods, this is fucking gaudy."
The court officer with her nods. He'd been invited into her home with Dr. Madison and while that home is bigger it's very obviously a home and not a showcase. . .like this place.
"Does he have any family?"
"None beyond his brother. . .they were 'advertising' for. . ."
"the right type of women to marry and have children. . .who would probably be sent off to a boarding school as soon as possible. Figures."
"You've had children."
"Yes, and all the kids were raised at home and are healthy, happy, and driving us around the bend."
He can't help it, he laughs. "My Momma said the same damn thing. And my father said. . ."
"That's the job of a kid. Oh yes. And let's not forget the old adage. . .may you have kids who act just like you. At least with the kids sent away to a boarding school they're not around the fools all the time and might actually turn out to be worthwhile human beings."
"Does the brother have his own home?"
"Yes. They're both heavily mortgaged to keep the businesses afloat."
"Would selling the houses pay the mortgage?" She asks a realtor who'd been brought in to look the properties over.
"No, there's not many people who would pay the kind of money they're looking for."
Josette looks at a wall. "Bed and breakfasts? They're too damn big to put up on one of the air b and b sites for just one family to rent."
"Perfect, there's a lot of attractions in the area." The realtor says. "Do you want me to call in somebody to look over the homes? The local school has a hospitality degree. . ."
"Perfect, they know what they're doing and as more students attend school they can work here." The realtor nods and she places a call.
"You don't seem too worried. . ."
"About making a go of this. Before the zero-population period I was awarded a house damn near as big as this for some absolute fool trying to get my quilting books away from me. . . how can the person who does all the work actually get all the profits?" The realtor is on hold and rolls her eyes. "I ended up turning the house into a retreat for crafters since there was a school nearby that specializes in it. The business is going well and I'm making money hand over fist from it. Granda and I both believe in letting people who actually know what they're doing being in charge of something."
Calvin nods. "I have a similar deal with a school that has a hospitality section for the hotel I built. When my school has more students, they can work at the hotel under a work-study position."
One of the teachers comes out and shakes her head. "We've been looking for a good sized building to use, but. . ."
"This is seriously ugly and needs painting at the least." The youngish looking woman says. "Josette Takahawa, the new owner."
"New owner?" She asks.
"The previous owner tried to get onto my land with heavy equipment to 'search' for a missing person with ground-penetrating radar. Unfortunately for him, the 'body' he was sure was located where my home was and had been for over fifty years was alive and well and living in Miami. They were planning on destroying everything then picking up the land for pennies because. . ."
"Everything was gone, figures."
"Yep, they'd get all the publicity of trying to find that poor young woman and bring her home. . .give her a proper burial since she didn't have any family. Who wouldn't be interfering with their publicity. And twit the police. . who hadn't even bothered looking for her. . .weeeeeellllll, no there hadn't been any missing persons reports filed. . ."
"Because anybody who would care to file the report would know where the girl was?" One of the realtors snorts. "Fanny, there's a second home."
"On the grounds?" She blinks.
"No, about three miles away. But both of them are mortgaged to the hilt to try to bolster their businesses."
"Which is why they tried this on my land. . .I have tons of trees that could 'disappear' and be quickly sold. . .because the ground has to be absolutely bare for it to work."
"No trees, no house. . ."
"Nope. Stupid fuckers are just that. . .stupid. No court would give them permission to come in and destroy everything, when they went whining to the police they found that girl in less than ten minutes. They started fighting and were arrested. . .the brother was arrested for trying to get onto the land with the heavy machinery but Ms. Takahawa's security system defeated him. He's whining that he might have jumped the gun a bit but she should have to pay for his destroyed machinery."
"Uhhhh, no. . .you were doing something illegal so no soup for you. They're whining cause they gotta pay off their bills. . .including the mortgages and other creditors. The businesses were barely hanging on and quickly closed when they were arrested. The judge ordered they give every employee a severance packet."
"Awwww, poo' baby. Did you get the businesses too?"
"Yes and some experts are already looking them over. Having somebody else turn them around after the useless pair nearly destroyed them will make them scream."
"Couldn't happen to a more useless pair. I know who these houses belong to now. This ain't the first time they tried pulling something illegal while trying to swing it so they're the damn heroes." Fanny snorts. "Their parents were just as greedy ass stupid."
"So that's it." Josette says a couple days after she came back to Haven. "Dumbasses are wailing that they could have found the body if they'd been allowed to destroy everything, there's not proof that the girl is alive and living in Miami. . .could somebody have aged a picture of her? Her social security number is in use, the damn post office had a change of address form for her. . .dumbass just pulled a name out of his ass of a young woman who'd 'vanished' into thin air. And nobody cared."
"Of course, the woman couldn't have moved!" President Bartlett drawls. "The buildings are going to have a little work done and there's already a sign-up list started for when they'll start operating."
"How big are we talking. . .about the size of your other home?"
"Yeah, each home has nine bedrooms. . .and a dozen bathrooms." The others shake their heads. "Not counting 'servant' rooms. With the students working shifts. . .they shouldn't be needed. TV room, minor library. . .the fools didn't read much unless it was business stuff. Cable and internet if they're needed." Nods from the others. "Like the retreat house, they're going to be handling everything, I'm just supplying the house and getting a portion of the money." The others nod. "Hopefully this is the goddamn end of the morons trying to steal our land."
"If the damn government has any sense. . .yes." President Bartlett says. "And with most governments, that's a damn big if. Okay, anything new."
"The printers will be closing up next year, I figure another three or four years and I'll reopen them again for three years. . .close them down for three or four years and then print the last of the books." Josette says, looking at the list of books being worked on. "Yeah, four down at the longest. And if I go four I'll only have two years off this next skip." The others nod, . .then chuckle. "Yes, I know this probably means I'll be getting hammered by the damn muses again."
"How is the mall coming?"
"Good, the roof is coming off in sections as they build onto it. . .people are coming out weekly to see the transformation on the inside. As the roof is removed, it's replaced with glass panels." Josette puts up the plans on the screen. "When I left a good half the original roof was gone. More stores are coming in everyday and there's a waiting list for the new floors. The movie theater will be opening when we're out for my show, I already got us tickets since they're selling out fast."
"Just like when the movie theater opened on Earth." Principal Madison says. The others nod.
"Is there any more interest in the school?"
"Yep, not just from the students at the school in town either."
"Another few years and. . ."
"We'll start seeing graduations again. yep."
Josette yawns as she walks through the front door of the dorm, taking off her boots and tossing her socks over the line. Wrinkling her nose she grabs the clips holding the line up and chucks everything in the basket, taking them downstairs to wash. Alan looks out the pocket doors a minute later and nods. "I was going to wash when you two got back."
"Is this it for the last of the rain and sleet?"
"According to the weather probes. . .yes."
"Not the first time we had one last winter storm."
"Nope. . .or the last."
A few days later it starts warming up again and the snow begins to melt. Doc comes out to ask Josette something and finds the boys washing windows while Abby takes down curtains on one side of the hall and Anna and Susan hang curtains up on the other side.
Josette flies in for a landing, taking the cart Abby shoves her direction and heading to the laundry. Yes, the buildings cleaning robots could handle all this but this is one of the signs winter is over, washing windows and curtains. Spring has truly arrived when she spreads manure on the fields and plants.
"These are the businesses you got?" He holds up the latest databurst when she comes back up with the clean curtains. The story of a businessman and his brother trying to destroy land is all over the databurst.
"Yeah, though I won't own them for another month our time." Josette says. "The homes were being painted and being got ready for a 'grand opening' as bed and breakfasts just as I was leaving. Since there's going to be a special. . .'something or other' in town. . ." Josette waves a hand. "They're looking at being fully booked."
"I'm sure dumbass will be wailing about that." David snorts.
"Oh yes, not only was I allowed to keep my land and everything on it, not only did I not have to pay for his shithead brother's machines. . .moron hadn't been paying the insurance premiums. . .not that it would have paid his claim since the damages occurred during a criminal incident, I got their homes and are not only turning them into a profitable business venture, I'm turning around the businesses too. Which they could have done if they'd actually worked at it instead of trying to cheat people."
"Please, that would mean being a damn grownup. . .not going to happen with some people." Abby snorts as the curtains are hung up and spritzed with spray starch.
In Calvin's dimension a judge snorts at a whining man in front of him. "No moron, you can't sue the woman who's home you tried to destroy because you're a miserable little fool. Grow up."
"But they're talking bad about me." he wails. "And don't she have to pay my brother's damages?"
"No, your brother tried driving his heavy machinery onto her land. He was trespassing and planning property damage. . .not only does she not have to pay for his machinery, he's going to be paying through the nose the judgment she's going to get against him."
"But I was sure that police would allow us to get on the land. . .she has so many trees. . .she doesn't deserve to own all that land. . .she's just lording it over people."
"No she's not, you're trying to lord it over people." He wails as his lawsuits are tossed out and he's returned to that miserable cell. . .it's not as big as his master bathroom.
Josette snorts as she reads the next databurst. "Of course the miserable fool thought I was lording it over everybody. . . he would."
"Just like that fool girl who sued to get Becka's job at Paddy's. . .but she comes in hours after everybody else." David mock-wails. "Fool was stunned to find out Becka had already put in a full day's work at her other job. But she gets paid a full forty hours here, doesn't she? Ummm no, only the hours she actually works, between ten and fifteen hours a week. Moron would not get it through her head that Becka makes and designs the jewelry, she doesn't buy it."
"Well of course. . .if she made it she couldn't slip in a few extra pieces for herself when she went to the high-end stores." Principal Madison snorts. "From what the others said her darling mother was just as stupid." Josette nods. "Okay, the supplies . . ." Josette disappears and reappears a few seconds later, looking up at the ceiling and sighing before grabbing her PADD.
"Another lost world?"
"Not quite, remember the movie Wall-E?"
"Humanity went to the stars and left Earth covered in trash?"
"Yep, and the other planets didn't want the fools settling on their planets, they're being sent back but Earth needs to be cleaned up first. They're going to be taking ten hours shifts sorting everything until they reach bare ground and when the Earth is clear they'll have to start replanting everything."
Josette splits off a duplicate and flies off with the ships and the others who'd arrived. The movie is played on the trip for those who haven't seen it and they shake their heads as they see the 'junk' covering earth. Men, women, and children are all working shifts to sort out the debris, it's trundled to the ships and disposed of.
"How long were we there? It didn't seem like any time, but. . . "
"Yeah, we were there about a thousand years under time dilation. It was longer because some of the whining fools whined like babies instead of working. And yes, they're the same people who left Earth in the first place. . .that's why they were made to clean up their shit." The others in the other ships nod in satisfaction. "I don't know how long they live here, it's been several centuries where they moved from one planet to another trying to find a place to settle and getting sent off because of their attitudes. Now they're being locked to their own planet with limited technology and will have to sink or swim on their own."
"As they should have." President Bartlett rumbles when they return to Haven. "Replicators?"
"Yes, but limited use because they don't have the power to make everything they want. . .the damn things are energy hogs."
"One of the reasons they were rationed in Voyager."
"That and they didn't have the resources to make stuff. Now. ..something like the seaweed I've got growing would be used in the replicator as raw materials. . .so was most of the shit that they were sorting. And how the hell humanity never got beyond the teen girl 'me, me, me, don't you know it's all about me' fits." Josette shrugs. "There's a difference beyond having a messy room, a messy house, and a damn messy planet."
"Voyager. . .you can harvest asteroids on your trips."
"Yes, the ship couldn't. They didn't have the technology to turn the raw ore into what they needed on a large scale. Either as machinery or in the case of biological specimens food."
"Where we can?"
"Yes, the ships all have manufacturing facilities and of course there's the sorting planet. That's one of the reasons GD is having me grow seaweed, they want to be able to take samples and put them in the replicators, either as food or as raw materials."
Sooner than any of them would have thought they're heading to Calvin's dimension for the show. The wailing of the fool who'd tried destroying the land is almost audible as all the publicity is good for her and bad for him. Wellllll. . .yessss, he had tried to destroy her land but they're all talking bad about him. He's not seeing a dime from turning his beautiful home into a bed and breakfast. . .being icily reminded that's not his home anymore. He lost everything trying to destroy her home. But he hadn't succeeded. . .he wailed and had been laughed at by everybody. . .including his own lawyer. And to add insult to injury the young woman he'd tried to use as a means to get onto the land was suing him for trying to claim she might not be the young woman in question, that she's using her identity to make him look bad.
"Oh dear god, how fucking stupid is he?" An officer of the court asks as he's drug off.
"He's used to getting his own way and now that he's being punished for his shit he's weeping and wailing." Another snorts. "His brother didn't get all the trees. . .he didn't get all the good publicity of trying to find that girl's body and give her a proper burial, he didn't get the money the realtors would have been lined up to pay for the land. He can't understand why he's in prison. . .he didn't get what he wanted. . .this time."
"No harm, no foul?"
"Yes, moron has been pulling this shit for years and is finally getting his ass handed to him for it. I don't see any reputable realtor . . .hell even the damn crooks in the news. . ."
"Lining up to buy the land. No, not after all the bad publicity. Fucking fools would have been working centuries in the medium security dimension to replace everything they destroyed. At least now people are fucking realizing that 'yes, you will be arrested, convicted, and be either in the medium security dimension or a prison cell for decades for trying to steal land that doesn't belong to you."
David looks around the mall and grins. "Oh, this is going to be gorgeous.
"Yep. the second floor is already full and the waiting list is on the third floor. The growing area on the second floor is already being talked about. . .people can come in and pick what they want." The others nod in satisfaction.
/Is it big enough for everybody?/ Anna asks.
/Yeah, it's being whomped up several dozen degrees. Restaurants are going to be able to buy here. . .they're going to be paying just a little bit more than a person off the street but the extra's going to go into a fund to create community gardens and subsidize low income people. They've already agreed./
Doc, Charles, and Dr. Cross are back from 'whatever' it was they'd been doing and everybody shakes their heads at the pictures of the other Earth, nodding in satisfaction at learning the people who'd left all that shit behind were the ones who were having to clean it up.
"We learned from our mistakes. . .they didn't." David sighs. "Speaking of mistakes. . .glass?"
"They're weeping and wailing about how rough it is but they're reusing the glass. At least the loudmouth schnooks." Calvin snickers at her phrase. "The damn grownups have been using recycled glass for years but. . ."
"The squeaky wheel gets the oil."
"Or a good swift kick if it's a shopping cart." Alan mumbles, looking at Josette. The others laugh but nod, they've all seen Josette kick a sticking cart wheel so it works.
They return to Haven a few weeks after the show.
"Is everything done?"
"Yes, dumbass was wailing in prison that he's not seeing a dime of the money from turning his house into a b and b, the guards reminded him it's not his home anymore." Principal Madison snorts. "He's also wailing that all the publicity is bad on him. ..why aren't they complaining about her not letting them on the land?" Professor Druid rolls her eyes. "Yeah, the woman who he claimed was murdered and buried on our land is suing the bastard because he tried claiming she's not really her. . .she's pretending to be her to make him look bad."
"His own stupidity is making him look bad." President Bartlett rumbles.
"Are slowly being turned around. Much to the weeping and wailing of the morons in prison. The employees weren't even off work that long. How. . .how. . .how can the businesses being doing well without them in charge?"
Professor Parker snorts. "The businesses are doing well because they're not in charge." The others snicker but nod.
Josette leans against the counter in the Albatross Nest, the others sighing or nodding at what's going on in Calvin's dimension. Everybody had just cackled when she got back from the other Earth with the others, saying it serves the fools right to have to clean up their mess.
"When do you see the first graduations?"
"About three more years. ..our time. The oldest kids at the school in town will be starting the seventh grade. They've been split up into three classrooms, by the time these graduated the room would be full." The others nod. "And they'll need to be able to spread out for more classes."
"No moving to different classrooms for a while. . .unless it's something that needs a special room." Suzie chuckles.
"Yep, and they're already used to everybody working on different stuff at the same time."
"Are more students taking elective classes at Calvin's?" One of the teachers from Edinborough asks.
"Yes, and not just the students from the local school either."
"Your grandfather's school has a nice reputation, I expect more students will be taking classes if they can."
"Yeah, Jane thinks they might be opening the school to limited boarders in another couple years. Parents with jobs where they have to travel. . .usually diplomats and other government employees."
"That's one reason reason for them to be boarding. We won't see the 'I'm too important to be bothered to deal with the children, that's why they're in boarding schools' nonsense for a while yet."
Josette nods. "Too early after they can have kids again. . .tongues would be wagging. And while they'd be talking about them . . .it wouldn't be the right kind of talking about them." The others snigger.
"Okay, am I nuts, or . . ."
"Have we been having a few miserable winters? Yes, it's not as bad as the years where our orbit was intersecting in the path of the second sun as it's orbit fluctuated but the other planets have mentioned similar years. . .it's our turn now. If it follows the pattern from the fourth and fifth planets we've got two more years before it goes back to normal. The experts are all looking over the pattern to give the other planets a heads up."
"Okay then, that makes it easier to bear. Nothing we can do about it."
"One of the reasons nobody said anything, it was over after a couple days and unlike Earth nobody was running to clear shelves of milk, bread, eggs, and toilet paper." The others snigger but nod. "The ice was soon cleared off the solar panels and the paths cleared." The others nod. "Not like any of us needed to get out."
"Nope, we have a little something something called common sense and if we're told the weather's going to be bad and to stay inside. . .we actually fucking stay inside." Marilyn drawls. "We don't need to get on the damn roads and make the authorities come rescue us because we're damn stupid to live."
"Oh. . .they're not stupid, they just don't think the rules need apply to them. That's so many whine like babies when they find themselves behind bars for trying some fantastic plot to steal my land."
"Some time behind bars . . .and not the damn fifteen minutes that celebrities got because of 'overcrowding' might make some of them grow the hell up."
Everybody looks at each other. "Nah."
"Books." Agatha points a finger at Josette.
"Next year will be the end of this batch, I figure three or four years off, three years of printing, if it's four years off the first time two years will finish up the books, then three years printing the last of them." Everybody nods. "Eight more books yet to debut over there. The printers are on schedule. . . the books will be finished in another week, another week to make sure everything's okay and the party can be anytime after that." everybody sniggers at Josette's hangdog face during the last sentence.
Agatha checks her calendar and puts up a date, sending out the message.
"Did you have the machines plant the cotton?"
"Yeah, between this year and next we'll have a good supply for dyeing yarn."
"Do we have a good selection of dyes?"
"Yes, both dried plant and single leaf."
The recycling bins are getting full at the school and Josette is busy moving everything to the ship a couple days later while David is shooting the garbage.
"How is the 9th planet Earth? It's been nearly a century their time. . ."
"Since the bombs went off, yes. They're working on another city-ship mission to investigate the planet. The radiation levels. . .at least in the air are falling rapidly but they don't know. . ."
"Water and soil are still probably affected. . .if Chernobyl and the Dai-ichi zones are anything to go by." Nods from the others. "They have been able to forecast an end to the nuclear winter though. Another ten years."
"No, not considering how much shit was thrown into the air thanks to all the damn nukes. . .about as bad as our world and that shit in our atmosphere."
"How is that at clearing up?"
"Good, slowly but the patches of clear air are getting bigger. . .even to the naked eye." Josette puts pictures up and they nod as they can see the difference between two pictures. "The experts figure it will another couple hundred years before everything but the glaciers are melted. The lands that were blocked off are doing well. Africa is going back to nature, the way it was before industrialization and over planting." Pictures from after Josette had cleared the land and now were shown and they nod in satisfaction. "Hopefully the rest of the growing areas will be enough to renew Earth. They had to basically terraform that Earth since it had been covered in trash for decades."
"Seeing those pictures made us very damn glad we learned from our mistakes and everybody recycles." One of the soapmakers shudders as Suzie cuts fabric for her and they come up to the counter.
Josette returns from Calvin' dimension a few days later, having been called out for a whiny asshole who wanted to sue to force her to pay him damages because the people who'd tried stealing her land had promised him money. Unfortunately for him the courts weren't inclined to take his side and he'd walked off pouting.
"Granda's got his first boarding student." Josette says as she leans between her parents at dinner. They both look at her. "A fool woman was wailing about losing her home in a fire that killed her husband and left her a single parent to seven kids. . . with another one on the way. Her fourth husband by the way. The kids ranged in age from eleven to one."
"What, she was having them every year since the zero-population period ended?" Professor Fletcher blinks.
"Basically. . .yeah. So she could get money from the state. She was living with a relative while waiting for insurance money and . . .well, she started getting greedy and stealing from the relative. Some of the money she stole was for her eldest's schooling. . .she'd run through the money that was for her tuition. . .left her by her father. Her first husband. The relative was a designer and one of the rooms in her home was used for her loom, the bitch was trying to trash the loom. . .she shouldn't be having that, the room could be used for her music, she won't mind paying for a grand piano for her. . .will she?"
"Isn't her loom how she makes her money*?" Professor Parker drawls.
"Oh yes, the bitch was arrested and her kids sent off to foster care. They're all better off without the miserable bitch. . .who's now being investigated in her previous husband's deaths. Because the fire. . ."
"Wasn't an accident?" President Bartlett snorts.
"Looks that way and she's gonna be wailing in the work dimension to repay the money stolen from her eldest daughter's schooling fund. . .the bitch wasn't supposed to be able to touch it and she thought the money for her schooling was coming from that. . .not stolen from the relative. She immediately tried returning that money, Granda stepped in and offered her a scholarship loan, the money for her schooling was returned to the relative, she can take classes at the school in town and at his school, she'll have a part-time job at the businesses, and is living with Jane." Everybody nods in satisfaction.
"But you can't make me pay off all this." the moron woman whines as she looks at the growing list of judgments against her her lawyer shoves across the table in a prison meeting room.
"The hell they can't you damn fool. You've been found guilty."
"But the baby! All this work isn't good for the pregnancy. . .dear god I'm about ready to collapse just working in the recycling drop-off centers." The doctors wouldn't give her a medical excuse so she is actually working.
"Grow up you miserable bat. You aren't going to be pregnant when you go to the medium security dimension."
"But they're making me pay twice for Michelle."
"No, you're being forced to repay every cent you stole from your daughter's education fund and you're being forced to pay for her schooling. Two different things entirely."
"But I thought my cousin wouldn't mind me 'borrowing' her money. I needed it."
"Just like you needed a damn grand piano?"
"Yes, damn it. She had plenty of money. . .she hit me when I was trying to remove that damn loom."
"That's her home, that's her way of making money, and dear god you retarded asshole you deserved to be hit. If you'd pulled that crap on me I'd have shot you." Her own lawyer snorts as she continues to wail. "But you're going to make me repay the money I 'borrowed' for Michelle's schooling."
"Yes moron, if you 'borrow' something you have to return it." He sneers.
"But it's Michelle's fault, she didn't want to go to the local school that was free. She wanted a 'better' school."
"And wasn't that education fund her father left her supposed to pay for?"
"Weeeelllllll yeeeesssss." she whines. "But she didn't need to go to a better school, all she has to do is find a man to trap into marriage and start having babies. Her father wanted her to have an 'education'." she sneers.
"Yes moron, that's what a good parent wants. You're just a damn slut popping out babies for the state to pay for." The guard sneers. "Thankfully they'll all have 'real' parents to tell them they can be anything they want."
"So that's it." Josette says after the first crops are in and the databurst from Calvin's dimension is heard. "Dumbass bitch is going to be working her ass off in the medium security dimension after she delivers the baby. She's already lost custody of that one. . .the first person after the zero-population period for that to happen."
"D'awww. . .she's going to be famous. . .or is it infamous." David coos.
"Oh yes, the bitch is actually having to work while she's pregnant, the doctors wouldn't give her a medical excuse to sit on her ass in her prison cell. She's not working a full shift like the other prisoners. . .she's only working four hours a day three days a week at recycling drop-off centers. Even that is making the little bitch miserable. . .she's collapsing once she's in her cell. She's heartbroken the court isn't getting rid of the judgments against her. . .she's got to replace everything she stole from her oldest daughter's education fund and pay for her schooling? It's not fair. It's the girl's fault. . .she didn't want to go to the free school. . .noooo, she wanted to go to a good school. She doesn't need an education, all she needs to do is trap a boy and start having kids."
"Like her?" Dr. Hazlitt sneers. "Fool woman is the last person I'd want to be like."
"Oh yes, her father actually wanted her to have an education." Everybody hisses and boos. "Only the fact she's pregnant now is keeping the other prisoners from beating the stupidity out of her. Once she's delivered and paid off all her judgments she still have at least twenty-five years behind bars. Since she's already in her fifties. . .she won't get out of prison."
"Moron will learn what a real job feels like." The others nod.
"Josette, have you heard anything about the last crops?"
"Yes, they're going to be coming in the last week that we'd normally be off-world. We're harvesting here that week and then we'll have the last offworld harvests. Next year. . .we'll have to see again. This cycle is . . .strange, the harvests don't seem to be coming sooner. Even this early in the cycle we'd have one harvest before third semester midterms."
"Which is fine for us but not the other planets, some of the planets the food is being delivered as soon as it's canned." Professor Druid says. "I know the offworld harvests aren't meant to be our only food over the winter and with only one harvest they grow more than we do, but still . .."
The others nod.
Michelle smiles at her foster mother as she pulls up in front of the school. "Have a good day sweetie."
She walks into the portable building and settles in her seat.
"Good Morning Michelle."
"Good morning Ms. Masters." Plugging her thumb drive into her computer she sends her homework to the printer in the corner of the room. Double checking she has everything she drops it into the inbox on her teacher's desk. The woman chuckles and sends the next week's assignments to the school's server, Michelle downloading her list and starting to read as the others begin arriving. Nobody's surprised Michelle's the first one there, her foster mother drops her off on the way to work and she has to be at her job by now.
Jane slides into her seat in the front office and picks up the ringing phone.
"Lady, you must think the rest of the world is as stupid as you are." A jailhouse lawyer snorts in prison. "No, the woman who took in your oldest daughter doesn't have to stop giving her an education because you want her to just find a man and trap him into marriage. Get the fuck over it and yourself."
"But no girl needs an education. . .she just needs to find a man and open her legs." She sneers. The other woman backhands her and cusses her out for hours, leaving her wailing in her cell. A guard drags her off for her work that day, icily calling her an effing fool. "You have no damn control over any of your kids lives anymore moron, you don't have the right to try to demand anything."
"But no girl. . ."
"Shut the hell up you godddamn retarded bitch!" he cusses her out then slaps her when she tries grabbing his crotch.
The women dropping off recycling make her life a living hell the five hours she's there, not only does she have to work but now she's working extra hours she wails back at the prison. Too damn bad is the general consensus. Now she's being given extra duties at the prison, having to gather the recycling from the kitchen and other businesses, sort it out, and in the case of the kitchen clean it. And she'd wailed about the guard slapping her but when he told what she had done she had been the one to get into trouble. Her! They should all be kissing her feet, she's the most gorgeous woman. . .She's tossed back in her cell with another write-up added to her record.
"Goddamn idiot, how soon can the baby be born?"
"Not for another three weeks. Some babies are born at thirty-seven weeks but. . ."
"We'll put up with her stupidity for another three weeks to make sure the baby is born healthy."
"But I thought that money I was making from the recycling would pay my judgments." Dumbass wails in a courtroom a month later. She'd given birth two weeks ago to twin girls who were being loved on by their new parents.
"It wasn't even a damn drop in the bucket."
"But I only got five dollars out of all that work." She wails as she's sentenced to time in the medium security dimension in two weeks, giving her more time to recover. She'd still have to continue her recycling though and when she returned from the dimension she'd have to start her permanent jobs at the prison. That news leaves her wailing in her prison cell.
"Grow up you miserable bitch. . .did you really think the money you were making from the recycling was really enough to pay everything you owe? Moron."
Two short weeks . . .for her though everybody who had to listen to her damn wailing would say they lasted forever. . .later she's pushed into the work dimension, falling to her knees and blubbering until she's tossed into a room until she can be put to work. "Should put you in the job of 'relief' for the males but you'd probably like it." One of the guards mutters.
Several decades later for her she collapses wailing in the outside world. "they made me work. . .They wouldn't listen when I told them I was sure I had paid for everything. . .they kept showing me false statements showing I hadn't put anything towards my judgments. They. . .they wouldn't even let me near the male prisoners. .. I. . .I could have made enough money to be happy." She sobs brokenheartedly as she's tossed in the back of a van and transported back to the prison.
She wails louder as she's assigned her permanent jobs in prison. . .blubbering that weren't they going to let her go now? The warden had laughed at her and told her to pay attention to the lawyers and judges, no she now had to serve out her remaining sentence. And to get used to her cell, she'd be there for the rest of her miserable life.
Josette is putting up a hoe after working in the garden when she disappears. She reappears a few seconds later, shaking her head violently and swearing fluently.
"What's up?" Alan asks as he walks over.
"Ohhhh lord, what a dumbass dimension."
Alan can't help it, he guffaws. "So were you Naruto?"
"Fuck no, I was the Kyuubi."
He falls on the floor, rolling and cackling. "I take it you didn't get stuck in his gut?"
"Nope, I was the village's protector and I had a lot of fun knocking some damn sense into dumbass ninjas. I swear. . . chakra must replace damn brains. No, I can't say that. . .even the damn civilians were fucking stupid. I knocked the shit out of Sakura with a tail. .. telling her a few facts of life. Her damn fangirl squee'ing was goddamn annoying and if she grew the fuck up she might be a decent ninja. The teachers told her the same thing. With no seal Naruto grew up a normal boy and was taught the Namikaze and Uzumaki jutsus by his parents. . .along with his siblings. Minato dealt with the Kumo idiots so Neji had to find something else to angst about other than his father being dead."
David's sliding down the wall cackling. "The Uchiha massacre didn't happen since Minato made everybody swear an oath of loyalty. Those who failed were in prison. The Hyuugas. . .and damn going 'aoooga' whenever their names were said was fun." Alan's running to the bathroom by now, David just a step behind him. "had to find another way to keep their oh so precious bloodline from being stolen than binding most of them. A lot of them were in prison too. . .not just the Uchiha. I was also an ANBU kunoichi and taught the girls the facts of life about being ninja. Not the damn glitz and glamour but real life. I also kicked old Kakashi's ass up around his ears and made him grow the fuck up. He had to actually teach. And arrive somewhere on time. It helped he wasn't kissing the ass of the last Uchiha. He wasn't the damn weapon of the village. . .his brother is in ANBU, he's got tons of cousins. .."
"He was a normal ninja and not brooding for vengeance."
"Yep." Josette drawls. "Sakura ended up a med-nin, she had perfect Chakra control but didn't have the mindset to be a ninja. Tenten became a major supplier of ninja weapons. Lee became a damn fine Ninja. . .I almost had him become the next Hokage after Minato. . ."
"Oh dear god. . .that would have been horrible for the other villages." Anna moans as she leans against the wall. "The hidden village of the leaf would have been the hidden village of YYYYYOOOOOUUUUUUTTTTTHHHHH!"
"Yup. Naruto became the next Hokage after his father retired, Lee became the head of ANBU, married, and started his own clan. The other clans inbred with his and they were the top village by the time Konohamaru became Hokage after Naruto retired."
Josette slides into her seat at the dining hall for dinner, the story being told to the others who hadn't heard. Professor Druid nods, she can see Josette stalking through town as a giant fox slapping the stupidity out of the more annoying people in the books. Principal Madison sighs as he sees Josette holding an annoying person by a tail up to her eyes, the moron pissing themselves when they realize how far up they are. She would have been giving everybody a few home truths and since she's a giant demonic fox nobody could do anything.
"What would you have done if Sasuke had been all vengeance?"
"Had him hump a cup daily for a few months or even years, freeze it, use it on various women so there's more Uchiha if the massacre had occurred then send the moron on a suicide mission. Maybe even see if the Hyuuga bloodline and the Uchiha bloodline could be combined." Josette says absently.
"And if the massacre hadn't happened?"
"Put the bastard in counseling and if his seed was needed have him hump a cup every day for a few months or even years. I have a feeling inbreeding was as bad in the clans as it was in the purebloods. If he turned rogue. . .take him down. I know in fanfics the eyes could be implanted in non-clan members, take Hyuuga eyes, add in Uchiha eyes. . .in a few generations you'd have a clan that couldn't be beaten. . ."
"In time you'd have enough people to do the eternal thing."
"Yep. if Ochi baby or Danzo had worked behind the scenes with the Uchiha they could have taken over the damn village from the inside. Who would have stopped them. . .the pervert or the lush?" They were both gone. The Hokage knew what his former student was up to, but he didn't have the time or energy to deal with him . . ."
"He couldn't protect Naruto." Professor Druid nods.
Josette nods. The next couple of days pass quickly, the tomatoes and other crops are needing more water and Josette has been turning the sprinklers on in the morning to soak everything. The boys show is soon and Josette drops into a seat in the rooms, telling the others what had happened. The others had learned of the manga and were snickering at Josette's antics.
"Eight more books." David chuckles the next morning as Josette stares blearily at the cup of coffee in front of her.
"Both to debut here and in Granda's dimension and to print on Haven." Josette says absently.
"How many books did you sign?"
"About the same as usual. . .nowhere near what I sell in Granda's dimension. . .especially last year."
"Yeah, here it's . . .yeah, you're older than you look. . .isn't everybody? Just like at home." The others snicker.
"Fuck you you moronic twat." Michelle's mother is told by a jailhouse lawyer. "No, there's no way in hell you're going to be 'compensated' for your trauma at having to pay your damn judgments. Grow the hell up."
"But I was there decades."
"And some have been there even longer. Grow up and take responsibility for your own actions. You stole your daughter's education fund."
"But she doesn't need school. . .all she has to do is find a man and spread her legs." She's backhanded by the other prisoner. "Do the world a favor and drop dead already. Nobody needs or wants your damn attitude. Thank god your oldest daughter doesn't want anything to do with you."
In a courtroom in Superhero dimension a man is wailing in front of a judge. "But your honor. . .that money. . ."
"Belongs to your oldest daughter, it was left to her by her grandfather for her education. Not for you to drain for your own interests. You claim the money is needed for your youngest daughter's surgery. . .the surgery is going to be paid for by insurance."
"But she'd have to wait for the insurance. . .if we use that money she can have the surgery. . ."
"Two days before the insurance would pay for it." His daughter's lawyer says, handing over the paperwork. "That money was left for your daughter's education you damn fool."
"But she doesn't need it right away, she's. . ." His face grows pale. "Oh god, she's in high school already."
"Yes Mr. Daniels, and putting in applications to university. She'll need her money. Your younger daughter can wait a whole two days for her surgery." He says mockingly. "Case dismissed and I'm ordering your name removed from her account. Your sister has volunteered to oversee her account."
He whines like a baby as his sister gives him a disgusted look. "Grow the fuck up you stupid goddamn little sack of shit."
"But I thought she'd have to wait longer than that for the surgery if insurance paid for it."
"Then you're as goddamn stupid as you look. Now get the hell out of my sight, apologize to your eldest daughter for being a goddamn fool, quit kissing the younger one's ass, and grow the fuck up."
"Did you get the money?" His daughter asks.
"No, your surgery will happen when insurance pays for it. Your sister is in high school and will be applying to university soon."
"But Daddy. . .I need the surgery. If I have to wait for insurance, I'll be. . ."
"Two days later."
"Yes, your surgery would be two days after it would have been if you'd got my damn money." Her sister snarls. "Now shut the hell up before I kill your worthless ass, you won't have to worry about getting your fucking stomach stapled." Her sister sneers. "If you didn't eat like a damn pig. . ." the girl throws herself at her sister and is backhanded. She lays on the floor sniveling. "Grow the fuck up you goddamn stupid little brat. . .I hope the psychologists realize what a miserable little sack of shit you really are and deny you the damn surgery. That's right asshole, you've got to talk to the headshrinkers before the surgery. . ." She walks off to her sister wailing on the floor. She can't talk to psychologists. .. they're mean to her. . .telling her to quit eating like a damn pig and making her take responsibility for her own actions. They'd actually made her diet one time and she lost a hundred pounds at that horrible camp. She'd been miserable.
"Goddamn stupid cunt."
"You goddamn retarded whore." Her aunt bellows later that night as she throws the door open of the paddy wagon because the girl's too fat to sit in a regular police car. "How goddamn stupid are you that you try to kill your sister? And kill your parents?"
"But she said they'd make me talk to a psychologist, if she'd gave me that money they wouldn't have. . .would they?" She's holding her head where her sister took a baseball bat to her when she found her over her bed with a knife.
"Yes you goddamn whore, they don't want you to just keep eating the way you are after the surgery."
"But they're so damn mean, they made me diet." she wails.
"Yes, because that's what a goddamn human being does. Enjoy prison you goddamn little shit, you won't have to worry about your damn weight, working long hours and having to eat prison food will make it melt off." She's wailing as the door slams shut and Marilyn looks around for her other niece and goes running to her. The girl had been holding it together when she talked to the police but she breaks down bawling when her aunt wraps her arms around her. The officer talking with her nods in satisfaction, this is what the girl had needed.
It's a long couple of weeks while Marilyn deals with the life insurance and funerals. . .closed casket thanks to niece's attack on her parents and being there to sneer at her niece when the girl is charged with two counts of second degree murder and attempted murder for attacking her sister. The will is being probated, since a criminal can't profit from their crimes Natalie will be getting everything and Maddy left with nothing. . .something the dumb bitch had wailed about in court until the judge ordered her removed. The stupid bitch was whining that a court appointed attorney wouldn't get her off and Marilyn had about ripped her fool head off. "You're not getting off you retarded sack of shit, enjoy that cell. . you're going to be in that one or one just like it for the rest of your fucking life."
"But I can't live like this. . .I don't have a bed. . .I only eat three times a day. . ."
"Boo hoo hoo you goddamn miserable little bitch. Too damn bad. Prison's going to be a lot worse, you'll be working at least six hours a day. At just one job and you'll probably have two or three."
"But if my sister had just paid for the damn surgery. . ."
"Why the hell should your sister have to pay for surgery because you're a fat pig who can't stop eating?"
"But I would have had to talk to psychologists before they'd okay the surgery if the insurance paid for it."
"And they'd have to okay your damn surgery if your father took her money. And they wouldn't have okayed it because you haven't made any damn effort to lose weight." She leaves her wailing in her cell and then goes to the school to cuss out the fool principal who'd called demanding Natalie come back to school or be expelled.
"She's keeping up with her classes, don't you ever fucking threaten to expel her you goddamn whore or I'll go to every damn newspaper, tv station, and radio station and raise a damn fuss. The school board would fire you ass as soon as they heard the story."
"But I didn't know her parents had been killed."
"And why the hell did you think she was out of school you damn fool?" Marilyn snorts. "It's only been two weeks since her parents were murdered and she was attacked."
"But. . .but. . .but she's been out longer than that, hasn't she?" Rummaging through the files on her desk and actually having to read them now. "Ohhhh, you're right. . .it has been only two weeks. I thought the records said she'd been out two months."
"Yes moron, two weeks. Now ever bother my niece again and I'll destroy you to the molecular level." She slams the door behind her.
"Ignore her, she's a goddamn idiot." the secretary snorts. "Stupid bitch got the job because of her family, not because she actually cares about the kids. How's Natalie?"
"Good, she's not waking up multiple times a night screaming. Her idiot sister is whining about only getting three meals in jail, the guards are being mean to her. Her sister should be in there for protecting herself from her. . .so what if she had a knife and had just killed their parents, she hit her. How dare her sister not pay for her surgery. If she paid for the surgery she wouldn't have to talk to the psychologists. . .they're mean to her. They want her to lose weight."
"Isn't that what the damn surgery is for?" The secretary snorts. "Here's the assignments from all Natalie's teachers and I sent off what you dropped off a few minutes ago."
"Thank you dear. And my idiot niece seems to think the surgery will mean she can eat whatever she wants and still lose weight. Since the fool hasn't made an effort to lose any of the weight she wouldn't have been approved."
"No, no she wouldn't have." She agrees.
Marilyn drives past her brother's home on the way to her apartment, the house was being cleaned by a company that specializes in crime scenes and movers would be coming in and putting everything in storage. There's a letter from a lawyer's office and she cusses them out long and loud before making an appointment to talk to the fools.
"I don't fucking care if your fat falls over the edge of the concrete and pad, you're not getting a king-size bed installed in your cell. Sleep on the damn floor then." A judge snorts as he listens to the wailing of the girl. "You're in jail because you're being charged with murder little girl, not cheating at hopscotch."
"But it's not fair. . .if she'd just paid for my damn surgery."
The judge gives the little fool a few facts of life and she's sobbing brokenheartedly when she gets back to her cell. How could the psychologists have talked to her if her Daddy had paid for the surgery instead of insurance? They're mean, they want her to actually make an effort to lose the weight. What do they mean she wouldn't have been able to eat anything she wanted after the surgery? And her court-appointed lawyer is urging her to plead guilty and ask for a room in a prison hospital to lose weight. Don't they know her parents deserved to die for not getting the money for her surgery.
"Bitch is going to end up in prison for life isn't she?"
"Yes, not even the bleeding heart groups who hate kids being charged as adults will protest her case. Not after they heard why she attacked her family."
The house is quickly sold as Natalie returns to school, the other students either giving her space or ignoring her. Her friends had been in constant contact with her and the teachers are happy she's been keeping up with her studies. The principal dearly wants to say something about her getting special treatment but she can't, she's on thin ice with the school board and her family. . .after hearing of her stupidity. . .is refusing to push their weight around for her. Smirking nastily she starts composing a letter. A few days later her door is thrown open and the head of the school board gets in her damn face, waving a copy of the letter.
"How goddamn stupid are you? Trying to expel this young woman?"
"But she struck another student." She says smugly.
"Who was trying to kill her you goddamn whiny retarded fucking fool. Self-defense is still a goddamn right. Now get the hell out of this office and this school. . .you're fired."
"NO! You can't." She's stunned she's not getting her own way.
"Yes we can, the students come first. . .not your damn power trips." He drags her out of the school and tosses her off the school grounds, leaving her wailing the middle of the street. Why wouldn't they just do what she wanted?
"Good riddance to goddamn bad rubbish." The school secretary sneers. "Dumb bitch hated that girl because she was positive she was getting special treatment because her aunt told her off for threatening to expel her if she didn't return to school after the murders. It had barely been two weeks."
"That was way too soon." The head of the school board says. "Not after everything after that."
"Yes, all the psychologists agree that she needed the time off. Her parents were murdered, her sister had attacked her. .. she spent two days in the hospital."
"Yes, that bitch just wants to run the school like her own fiefdom. She tried threatening one of the other students with being expelled, the poor girl is undergoing cancer treatments."
"She wants what she wants when she wants it, the school should do it's best to suit her. . .not the students."
"Oh god no." The head of the school board turns around and punches the stupid bitch in the face when she rushes in with a gun, the police drag her off when they find the school board head holding the gun on her and she's blubbering that they should have done what she wanted.
"Fuck you moron, no we're bailing your useless ass out of jail. Grow the fuck up you stupid bitch, you were told to leave her alone, that she wasn't getting special treatment because her aunt wouldn't kiss your useless ass. And you turn around and send out that damn letter to get what you wanted."
"But she was out of school for so long. . ." she wails.
"Because she was recovering from the loss of her parents you fucking fool." her lawyer snorts. "Dear god woman, what the hell is your problem? Trying to get students expelled? You've tried expelling more students this month than the last ten years combined."
"But they're getting special treatment." she howls. "I should have been able to expel anybody I wanted. They claim they had excuses. .. I don't care."
"Miserable bitch." The lawyer snorts as he's shown out of the jail.
"Yep, she's whining about having to work in the jail and the other inmates being 'mean' to her."
"Good. . .hopefully the whore will get the stupidity beaten out of here."
"I. . .I . . .I thought there was more money than this." The lawyer who'd demanded an accounting of what Natalie had 'stolen' from her sister whines when he gets the paperwork. "Your grandparents were worth billions."
"And my father didn't inherit anything from the will, only I did. My aunt got sixty percent of the estate, I got forty percent, and it is in trust for me until I turn twenty-five and my Aunt had the option of keeping it in trust longer, my grandfather figured I should have my degrees by then. And be out of my father's home." Natalie says in disgust.
"But why would he do that?" He whines, seeing his plans to be somebody by getting that money away from her and under his control held in trust for his client until he can get her out of prison vanishing.
"Because my damn father was a fucking fool and my grandparents knew he'd make me give everything to that miserable little brat Maddy."
"But your parents had good jobs, where are their savings?"
"What damn savings? They ran through all the money they made spending it all on her. Eight hundred of the fifteen hundred they made weekly was spent on groceries. That's why Dad wanted to drain my education fund, because they didn't have the money for her weight loss surgery. The only money I inherited was from their life insurance policies. . .double payout because they were murdered."
He whines again. "The vehicles?"
"Paid off, Dad's car had to be totaled, the frame was destroyed from Maddy's fat ass sitting back there all the time. I'm driving Mom's car."
"Sold quickly but I had to pay off the home equity loan they took out to add a roll-in shower to the house since Maddy can't fit in a normal shower stall. . .even those big ones anymore. There were other final bills to be paid. . .including their funerals."
"Ladies, I apologize for my employee's demands of an accounting of the estate's finances." The senior partner says as he ends the meeting. "He's trying to be somebody in the office and he thought this would be a stepping stone."
"But couldn't they have lied about the money?" Marilyn can hear him wailing as they're escorted out of the office. He's continues to apologize the whole walk and turns and sighs as the door closes behind them. "Baxter, shut the fuck up. They'd have no damn reason to lie about the finances, they had all the legal paperwork."
"What about hidden bank accounts?"
"You're a fucking fool. Quit looking for a dramatic payout and get to work on real client cases. Not your damn pipe dreams."
"But that girl will have nothing when she gets out of prison."
"Fool, that girl ain't getting out of prison. They already announced they're trying her as an adult and she's going to be going away for the rest of her miserable life." A law clerk snorts. "Boss, can you look this over? Something's not right here."
Maddy is found guilty of two counts of second degree murder and a third count of attempted murder for her sister, being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She wails its all her sister's fault for not giving her her money as she's led out of the courtroom.
"Goddamn retarded whore." One of the courthouse employees say as she's put in a cell in the courthouse for the rest of the day. "Okay gentlemen, what's your pleasure? We're ordering from Mama Santini's for lunch and dinner tonight." He hands over the menus and the guards put in their orders.
"Yep, ruined her whole life because she wouldn't stop eating."
"She's got an addictive personality, if it wasn't food it would have been something else." One of the guards snorts. "Shut up Daniels, nobody needs to listen to your damn whining. If the psychologists wouldn't have okayed the surgery too damn bad. You should have made a damn effort to trim off half a ton of that fat."
Maddy wails at how miserable her life is over the next couple of weeks. The prison cell is no better than the jail cell and when she'd tried getting her lawyer to request a real bed for her he'd actually laughed at her. At her! Her Mommy and Daddy had brought her a king-sized bed, why wouldn't the prison? She has to sleep sitting upright. . .sleeping on the floor is for animals. She doesn't get an entire meal to herself like her Mommy made. ..who cares if she has to cook twice so the rest of them could eat. . .don't they know she's special? How can she live on only one plate of food and it's not even what she likes. . .the damn prison has her on a diet.
Josette sighs as she reads the latest databurst from superhero dimension, she has a feeling in a couple years the older girl will be attending Hamberg. David looks over her shoulder and nods. "Miserable bitch. . .that younger girl."
"Well we all know some people are just born miserable and some fight everyday to overcome it while others wallow in their miserableness. She's like Willow, an addictive personality and in her case it was food, not magic."
"A Wrinkle in Time? They made another movie?" Anna asks as she opens a box from Superhero's dimension.
"Yeah, starring Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon. .." Josette looks over at the Disney movie. "Hopefully this does better than the usual book movies." Nods from the others. "And yes, they're hoping to make movies from the books, I passed along copies to people in the know. They'll make sure the movie actually follows the book, unlike scripts from some people. . ."
"Who've never read the books but think they're all that." Alan snorts. "Oh good, I was hoping the new season was coming out soon." He picks up a box set, copies it, and settles down to watch an episode.
Josette yawns as she walks into the Albatross nest, it's been spitting rain for a couple days and while it will be the 'oomph' needed to start everything ripening it's making her sleepy. From the yawns on the others faces she's not the only one. Grabbing the store copy of a pattern she starts cutting fabric.
"Not one of yours?" Agatha chuckles.
"Not today, the damn quilt's been yowling in my ear all week." She yawns. "Damn it."
"Oh I know, everybody's been yawning and everybody's tired of drinking coffee or their caffeinated beverage of choice." Suzie sighs. She scans Josette's card and Josette puts the bag in subspace before heading back to the dorm. Anna is sitting outside on the deck under the awning.
"Can't stand to be inside anymore either?"
"Nope. What's the latest on the mall?" The databurst had arrived that morning but Anna had been busy.
"The food area is up and running, the third floor is half full, the fourth floor is completed and the fifth floor will be finished by the time we come out after Thanksgiving. People are coming out of the growing area with a bag of fresh fruits and veggies, putting it in their car, and going shopping in the mall. Or conversely, people who were shopping in the mall wander into the food area and come out with bags." Anna nods. "When are you going out?"
"Tomorrow, I'm taking in socks, picking up supplies, stopping to Ellis's, and dealing with the books."
"Oh hi, you must be Michelle." Josette grins as she walks into the school office and finds a girl working at a desk.
"Ummm, yes. . .who are you?"
"I'm Josette, I'm from the other school. The others busy?" She waves a hand at Calvin's door.
"Yes, they're on a conference call."
"Important or whining?"
"Whining." She snorts.
"Figures. At a place where you can help me count socks?" She knocks twice on the door.
"Yeah, I'm. . ."
"Ahead in my classes. The others will tell you I'm the same way. You're not the first one to be taken in by the family." Josette brings out the containers and they start counting. Maria looks out the door and grins. "Josette's here, she's counting stuff with Michelle and telling her how she came to be at James's school." Jane and Calvin smile. They unmute the call and Calvin blisters the ass of the fool who's whining they're not paying attention to him.
Several weeks later her time she returns to Haven, waving boxes of stuff into the living room. Sticking her head through the door of Headquarters she looks at Monk. "Tell Doc I've got containers of stuff on Hanover for him."
"Thank you Josette, we've been expecting stuff."
"Did you get more machines in this shipment?" Principal Madison asks at dinner.
"Yes, both as part of the supplies and what I ordered from Ellis's. The new positions are opening up after the first of the year, the other planets should be able to start getting the new stuff at the end of next year, I'm going to allow pre-orders after the Harvest Festival."
Everybody nods in satisfaction. Over the next couple of days Josette brings stuff in and out of storage, moving the containers to a room in Headquarters when Doc tells her where to put it. Doc comes into the second building a few days later and finds Josette setting up the last of the machines. She straightens up and looks over her shoulder.
"Is this all for the schools?"
"No, both Eurekas are in here too. Everything but the sock machines." Doc nods in satisfaction and looks in the third building.
"Yeah, I've been working on it here and there." She says at the loom with fabric being made. "These are all to experiment with."
"Is that a hand cranked knitting machine?" He looks at something that is not one of the knitting machines you might find in a craft store.
"Yeah, I passed along the schematics to Granda though it's easier to knit stuff by hand if you can. But like I said it's something to experiment with. You can either crank it to charge the battery or operate it by hand but that would be miserable." Josette says. "I have the wooden and plastic knitting looms and the larger one you find in a craft store but I had to bring this out when I saw it listed."
Doc just shakes his head. "I saw you were putting aside some containers."
"Yeah, Maxie wanted a workroom like on the 9th planet. She's saving money from the offworld harvests to buy the containers and supply it. Since I already did it once, I know what it needs."
"Doesn't the 9th planet one piggyback. . ."
"On the alternate power? Yes, she's debating between piggybacking off the movie theater's or adding solar panels. With putting up shelving we can add insulation and it will have a potbellied stove for heat." Doc nods. If Pat didn't have an excellent studio of her own. . .added onto over the years though nowhere near as large as Josette's. . .which he swears is still growing and Josette agrees with him, she might have done the same.
"Do you see more people adding their own workrooms."
"Nope," Josette says with a grin as she shuts the door. "This is a way to be around people who are doing the same thing you are. You can talk to the others, get out of the house. . ." Doc nods in satisfaction. "Even those of us with workrooms can be found at the stores. Or the buildings here at the school. It's not the lack of room. . .it's the camaraderie."
"The same reason why all of us have our own areas but will often get together to work at Headquarters or the compound."
Josette sends a file to Frances, Suzie, Agatha, and Pat a few days later. "Look that over, will you? A cabin that's a workroom. A second floor loft for bigger supplies."
They look everything over and grin, making suggestions. "If we didn't have our own workrooms."
The harvests start coming in and the others begin arriving for the Harvest Festival. Michelle is looking around with wide eyes. . .knowing there's other dimensions is one thing but actually traveling to another world is another. She wanders the streets, looking at every table and in every store.
Meanwhile Josette is talking to Dr. Cross and Dr. McNider from the 8th and 9th planets about their orders. She's got a full list of everything that's she's made already and will be offering to the other planets after the first of the year. They nod in satisfaction and Josette delivers their boxes to the other planets.
"Well, that gives us a little more room." Pat chuckles. Josette sniggers. They both know the buildings wouldn't be running out of room any time soon.
"It will disappear when we open the new stuff to the other planets."
"Did you put up a notice?"
"After the Harvest Festival, I'm expecting the pre-orders to be in by the lights festival. After that they'll put in a basic order. If they look like it's going to be a bad year they can call and we'll make more."
Josette walks into a room on Ulonda and blinks. "Okay. . .how? I didn't bring anything back with me."
"You you no, but another you was there too." Ulonda chuckles. "We've got main branch Hyuuga eyes, Uchiha eyes, genetic testing notes that indicate how to pass along clan traits, copies of their jutsus. . .anything that would have been needed to take over." Josette closes her eyes, sighs, then starts swearing. Much to Ulonda's amusement.
"Okay, let's go get the cotton. Do we need to harvest anything while we're gone."
"No, thanks to the junkyard planet, we're good on raw materials for decades. Even with passing along what they could use."
Josette yawns as she slides into her usual seat at the dining hall. "I picked up the cotton, this batch will be made into thread for fabric." The others nod. "Next year's batch will be yarn." The others nod. "Next summer a batch of us are going to be dyeing the thread before it goes on cones." Nods from Frances and Elaine. "Once they get closer to that happening, I'll put the announcement up."
"Are we dyeing it all?"
"No, about a third to half of it in various colors, including the overlay glitter of the dried and fresh leaf plant dye."
"How are we on wool?"
"Got tons of it yet in storage until we need to bring it out." Josette looks out the window across from her. "Damn it, if it's going to rain. . .rain already." The others snicker but nod. The clouds have been threatening rain all day.
"Have we heard what this winter is going to be?"
"Cold and snow, the commercial replicator is working and people are already stocking up on wood. Thankfully with that cold winter a few years ago everybody's stocked up on quilts." Nods from the others. "Food's the last thing to get in and then we can hibernate until spring. . .and I know a few people who have tried just that." Nods from the others.
Josette and Maxie look at the area where she wants to put her workroom, far enough away not to bother anybody but close enough she's not hiking back and forth to her house.
"Okay, if we do two containers it would look like this." Josette sends a file of the workroom on the 9th planet as it first looked before they started filling it to Maxie. "Now, I've been toying with this plan. . .it's four containers and room for a second floor for larger supplies. The roof is flat for solar panels or it can have a cap over it for snow to hopefully slide off."
"Could you tell where they connected?'
"Nope, it would be one solid surface on the interior and exterior, and it can be painted to look however you want. The 9th planet left the exteriors plain . . .at first."
"How much more would four containers be?"
"Mot that much more, more lights, a staircase in the corner of the room. Are you looking at adding machines?"
"If the floor will hold." Maxie looks at Josette.
"Oh yes, they're made to hold tons of material and are stacked ten or twenty high." Josette says. "I already went over the plans with the engineers. Oh, this is something I'd been toying with." She passes over the files with the original and updated plan for the cabin workroom and Maxie sighs. "If I didn't already have plans for this that I love."
"That was everybody else's reaction. I'm probably going to put one up anyway."
"Would a four container workroom be too big for the area."
"We can make it look much smaller. Only a little would show on the outside and you could make it look the way you wanted but the inside would be the full four containers. . .or even bigger."
"Four containers with a pitched roof then, I'll piggyback it to the movie theater. I already asked and they don't mind, there's enough power for everybody." Josette writes everything down and nods.
"I'll start working on the exterior next spring then."
"Thank you Josette."
The offworld harvests start coming in and Josette is busy with the harvests. The fund for offworld purchases are growing by leaps and bounds, as is the fund Maxie created for her workroom. Josette had sent off the updated price list and she had nodded. She can pay everything off over time, she doesn't need to have everything paid right up front but she wants to. Everybody chuckles, they're the same damn way.
"The outlying areas?"
"Getting in the major supplies now. Clark and Kara are delivering the wagons to the others. Ma and Pa are used to storms that could blanket you in all winter and the compound. ..well they could have survived the ice age in there." Pat chuckles but nods. "As could we at Headquarters but I'd rather be able to walk outside for fresh air."
"Same with the dorm. I see trips to the first planet in our future." Doc nods as he comes up behind them.
"How are we on socks?" David asks as she comes into the dorm.
"We got three boxes of socks in the front of the dorm, I've got five more in the front room." Josette points towards a room and David nods. "We've all got new or nearly new winter boots." Alan nods. "Hopefully we won't be having to wash socks daily, if the smell gets too bad we can open the front doors for a few minutes."
In superhero dimension Maddy Daniels wails as she finds another wailing letter trying to blame her sister for her being in prison marked return to sender. The prison is being mean to her, not only making her work and putting her on a diet, they're making her attend counseling and the psychologist is a monster, he won't agree her parents deserved to die for not getting her sister's money. . .money for her sister's education, away from her. He won't agree that if the doctors had been paid cash she wouldn't have had to talk to a psychologist. . .didn't paying cash amount to anything anymore? He cusses her out long and loud and the guard are making her actually sit there and listen to him.
"Fucking idiot." One guard says to another as he walks past the cell. "How much is she bellyaching about having to lose thanks to the 'horrible' conditions she's being forced to live under?"
"Twenty pounds. She's wailing she's wasting away but nobody believes her."
"Bullshit. It would take her a hundred years to lose half the fat the way she's going." In her cell Maddy wails. "Shut your damn bawling Daniels and get a fucking shower, you stink."
"Mommy always helped me bathe." she blubbers.
"Well your Mommy can't help you now because you murdered her." He snorts. "The shower is free now, you're going to need two or three to get all your blubber wet. Here's the damn bath brushes. .. use them in between the folds of your blubber. . the doctor is disgusted you can't be bothered to bathe, that's why you have sores and infections." He shoves the bath towels. . .the largest bath sheet would look like a washcloth on her body, a clean uniform and new underwear, shampoo, conditioner, and soap in her arms. She's escorted to the showers and shoved in. A female guard is there and tells her to scrub. . .refusing to let her out until she does. By this time the water has turned cold and she's bawling that everybody is being mean to her. The guard tells her to shut her damn mouth, everybody's tired of smelling her stench and she's going to have to do this every day.
"Gentlemen, is she mentally ill?" The warden asks as her wails about how everybody's being mean to her can be heard until the door is firmly shut.
"No, she's just a stupid selfish shit who doesn't want to take responsibility for her own actions. And yes, that's my official diagnosis. The moron attended a 'camp' to lose weight and lost a hundred pounds but wailed the entire time. She wants to eat all she wants and the surgery would magically keep the weight off."
"Wouldn't have the facilities. . .for all that you hear about the people who have to be moved out of their homes by machinery because they weigh so much. They're moved to other facilities as soon as possible to lose the weight. No facility would take her. . .they have to be making an effort on their own to lose the weight. . .she doesn't want to."
"Your official orders?"
"Keep doing what you're doing, she's not responding to counseling. Don't show her any kindness, she'll twist it into she deserves everything she wants. Keep making her work, keep her cell clean, keep herself clean, keep giving her normal meals. . .don't let her buy food from the commissary. If she tries to take food, ban her to her cell."
"She hated school because the other kids made fun of her. . .make her get her GED." One of the other men snorts.
"Oh yes, Mommy and Daddy wouldn't make her go to school. . .not that they could get her in a damn car. . .she couldn't walk to her school and both girls couldn't fit in the back seat. The older girl was basically left on her own because the parents kissed that useless brat's ass all day. That's how the father didn't realize the older girl was in high school already and would need her education fund. The grandfather refused to start one for the other girl, even back then he could see she'd never need it."
"Shut your whiny mouth Daniels and get to work, you're not sitting on your ass for the rest of your life in that prison cell without something to show for it. The counselors petitioned the court to make you get your GED and by damn, you're going to get your GED. You might have sat on your ass at home refusing to do the work the school sent home for you but be damned if you're going to do it here."
Maddy wails. . .how can everybody be so mean to her? She didn't get a king-sized bed, she's got to either sleep on the floor or sitting up against the wall. She has to take a bench with her everywhere to sit on because she can't fit in a normal prison chair.
Natalie snorts as she listens to the counselor talking to her aunt about her sister in prison. "Figures, Maddy always had to have everything the way she wanted. . .she had the couch to herself. . .I couldn't even sit on the floor by the couch without the bitch kicking me. Dad caught her one time and slapped her, she spent the next three months in her room without any privileges, Mom had a fit about it but I had a huge bruise on my back and she had to agree Maddy went too far. That was just before she was sent off to the fat camp."
That news quickly makes it way back to the prison and Maddy wails as she's kicked by various prisoners who hiss that it's all she deserves for what she did to her sister.
"Fuck no you can't fucking sue your sister because she got everything. . .you don't get to benefit from your crime." One of the jailhouse lawyers snorts.
"You can't get the money from killing your parents asshole, it's a law."
"Then she can really get everything?"
"Yes, because she's the damn victim, not you."
"But they won't put any money on the commissary books for me." she wails.
"Good, you don't deserve a damn thing." She snorts. "You are a useless waste of oxygen who should have been beaten to death years ago."
"But that's not fay-yay-yay-yay-yurrr." she whines. "I can't buy everything I want in the commissary. I can't even buy a bottle of pop, I used to drink a twelve pack a day. . .and not that damn diet. . ." She's punched right in the face and cussed out, the other prisoner walking over the wailing brat as she walks off.
The stupid bitch tries to demand the addresses for the groups that help prisoners but the librarian throws her out when she starts complaining about having to read books to find the information she wants and the guards dare take her side.
"Stupid little brat." A guard snorts as she's tossed in her cell and the door slammed in her face.
The crops start coming in on Haven and everybody is busy getting them in and preserved for the winter. Josette sighs as she tills the plants under for the winter.
"How many offworld harvests do we have yet?" Professor Druid asks at dinner.
"Four, two for us, the 10th planet's and one for Archimedes. The rest of theirs and our one is on the ship waiting to be delivered when the other is done." Josette sighs. "I know we're not running behind on anything but it sure the hell feels like it. We should be done with the offworld harvests and have the gardens and fields yet to go but we've got the fields and gardens in and still have the offworld harvests."
"It seems like you're putting the cart before the horse. . .but you're not." Dr. Hazlitt drawls. "It's all coming at once the last couple years. It wouldn't be any different than if they were coming in the second harvest and offworld crops. . .would it?"
"No, it's just this harvest being the last one and in a couple weeks we'll be seeing snow." Frances says. Elaine nods. "Any other time it would be myeh, we got plenty of time."
Josette slides into her usual seat at the government building for their next meeting. "Are the offworld harvests in?"
"The last one is today, David and my other self is checking in the volunteers right now." Josette says. She looks at the three older men. "Okay, do we already have plans for growing indoor year-round if we need to?"
"Yes." Doc says quietly. "Both the ones we've created and Earth's. . .hopefully we'll never need them."
"Amen. Okay, turning to other concerns. Snowblowers? We've had to replace ours at the ranch and dorm over the years."
"We replaced some of ours at Headquarters." Doc sighs.
"Same at the school. I. . ." Principal Madison sees somebody coming up. "Ed?"
"Snowblowers and shovels. . .we've got to replace them."
"We were just talking about them." Josette sends a thought winging towards her other self, getting a nod. "Okay, we can replicate new shovels and I'll bring out snowblowers on the ship and switch them to battery packs while I'm offworld harvesting."
"Thank you Josette."
"How many do you need and I'll ask Albatross this afternoon. If I don't make enough on the trip I can work on another batch."
"Ladies, question for you. . .or rather the town." Josette says as she walks through the link to the Albatross Nest in Albatross. "Snowblowers? We need to replace some in Town."
The others start sending off messages. . .a representative from the town council hurrying in a few minutes later. Josette talks with her and nods. "I'm working on some while I'm off on the last offworld harvest, if I don't make enough I'll work on more."
"Thank you Josette, even with proper maintenance. .."
"They wear out. We're lucky that they have lasted this long." Josette sighs and makes a note.
"Checking the ships to see if the ships have snowblowers already meant to run on battery packs and not have to be retrofitted?" Agatha snickers. She sighs and nods. "Ohhh, you didn't see this yet." She passes along the schematics for the knitting machine. Agatha stares at it then her. "You're joking. . .right?"
"Nope, I have it in my 'experimenting' building at the studio." The others are looking at them. "A hand-cranked knitting machine, not the small ones you find at craft stores and we have on the shelves in the warehouse, a big one. Like at the schools." The others still stare. "Crank it up and it tells you how many hours of battery life you have if you don't want to spend hours operating it by hand. It will tell you that it's low on power and save the pattern if you're not finished, going into standby until you can recharge it again." Messages are being sent off and the next day Josette brings a group of people into the building.
"The smaller one can make socks and stuff but you could probably make them quicker yourself depending on how good you're a knitter." Josette cranks the handle, the others watching the screen come alive and the power bars growing. Putting yarn in the machine she selects a pattern and they see a notice about how many cycles it will take to make before it starts running.
"I've found information on a hand-cranked quilting machine but I haven't brought it out yet."
"When you do, we want video." One of the teachers from Edinborough says as she looks at the other machines and the loom where Josette has something started. Doc looks in the doorway. "Josette, did you have enough snowblowers?"
"And then some." she chuckles. "I figured out how many we'd need and doubled that number. And I didn't make a dent in any of the machines on the ship."
Josette leans between Principal Madison and Professor Druid at dinner that night. "Don't be surprised to find Granda muttering rude words when he comes out. There's fool who want walls on all buildings replaced with a one way glass so that people can look out but you can't look in."
"Like one way mirrors?" Professor Parker sighs.
"Because somebody's come up with it and they're looking to make a quick buck." President Bartlett drawls.
Everybody nods. "Yep, but there's no way in Hell that the glass could replace walls. . .there's no way to tie the floors into the walls and there's too much of a possibility of them being damaged."
"Glass walls in a prison?" Professor Parker drawls. "Really?"
"Yeah, they have glass cells for special prisoners but they're bulletproof glass. The walls would come down by somebody throwing a rock and then where are you?"
"Shooting them as they try to escape." Professor Ziegler says. The others nod.
Alan looks over from filling seed trays when Browen pokes her head in the door.
"On the ships, looking at snowblowers and quilting machines. We had to replace some this year and Josette's looking if any were already set to run on battery packs or if they have to be worked on like Josette did during the last offworld harvest. And she's heard rumors about a quilting machine that's crank powered like the knitting machine.
Bronwen stares at him. "The third building in her studio, the one that's for experimenting. The crank winds the battery pack, when you select the pattern it will tell you how many cycles it will take to make it if you don't want to run it with the crank the whole time." Alan looks up. /Josette?/
/One of you here in the dorm? Brownwen looks about ready to have an orgasm since I told her about the crank knitting machine. She's heading that way now./
Josette laughs. /I'm on my way up./
Josette pokes her head around the door and finds Bronwen staring at the machine as she winds the crank, the power bars slowly going up.
"About two and a half hours, a sweater takes three cycles depending on how elaborate it is. I have the ones you find in the crafting stores as well as the hand looms. . ." she waves at them and Bronwen nods. "I was thinking the craft stores ones could be used in the colony, but depending on your knitting proficiency. . ."
"You could probably make everything by hand faster." Hannah says as she joins her daughter and granddaughter in the room. "At least the small stuff."
"Any word on the colony dimension?"
"The treadle powered machines are in use in the building to make clothes for the colonists. Quilting is getting big, the blankets they brought out are wearing out."
"Make do with what you have, you can't expect to live off Earth forever. You're going to have to start making what you need."
Nods from the other two women.
"Nobody's seeing the colony as a permanent settlement off Earth even though it's been in operation for years."
"Same thing here until things started getting so bad. A kid acted up, he wanted to go back to Earth because he missed the damn internet. . .specifically his damn online games." The other two women roll their eyes. "The second time he got in trouble he was sentenced to six months working on the sorting planet. . .the parents had thrown their hands up. . .if he wouldn't behave he could go back to Earth. . .but he wouldn't be allowed to be on a computer, he'd have to do his schoolwork with a paper and pencil in front of somebody." Calvin cackles from the doorway at her fake. ..oh god, the horror tone of voice. "Anyway, working 40 hours a day straightened his ass out. He finished his schooling, got a degree, and brought one of the ships. . .his and my ship were the only ones left to harvest asteroids and whatnot after the others retired. . .they'd been working for years." The three older people nod.
Josette settles in her usual seat at dinner and yawns. Frances is looking at her. "Yes on the snowblowers and quilting machine. I brought out three size snowblowers, they don't have battery packs. . .they're like Becka's engines and get their power directly from the source." Becka nods. She'd had to retrofit the snowblowers on Earth and Mars years ago. "I brought out the quilting machine too, give me time to set it up after the Lights Festival."
"We can handle that." Bronwen, Frances, and Elaine say firmly.
The next morning Josette chuckles when she finds them already at work. Going into Headquarters she starts bringing stuff out of containers, putting them on the ships once they're empty. Then she turns her attention to bringing out more containers from the ships to different areas in town, Headquarters, and the dorm.
Bronwen coos over the plans for the cabin workroom and Josette hands over the order for the plastic she just placed. She nods in satisfaction as Josette looks at the clock. /Lunch!/
"Josette, did you get everything moved?"
"No, I've got a few more containers to move. . .not counting the ones maintenance is busy emptying for me." Principal Madison nods in agreement.
"Have you put aside the containers for Maxie?"
"Yeah, and put in an order for the interior panels, foam rubber insulation, stairs, and roof. The outside's only going to be the size of a standard shed, the interior will be the full four containers. ..and I can enlarge it if needed." The others look at her and she puts the plans up in the front and back room. "Maxie wants some machines, she asked if the floor would handle them. I said they're meant to hold up to a lot of weight, they're stacked ten, twenty high in dockyards on Earth, higher on the big ships, and even higher on the ships when so much stuff came up before we lost Earth."
Nods from the others.
"One for each floor, each will have a cooking area on top if she wants to keep something warm like tea or coffee." Josette sniggers. "People would be horrified at grown ups drinking from sippy cups but it keeps things from spilling on our work."
Josette finishes delivering the rest of the containers and slumps onto a couch, getting a cat jumping in her lap. "How is that fool girl adjusting to prison?" She asks Superhero Alice, she knows she's acquainted with her aunt.
"Not at all well, she wails for hours that people are being mean to her. The psychologists are monsters, they didn't agree with her that her parents deserved to die for not getting Natalie's education money away from her. . .she needed that surgery and the monster psychologists would have talked to her before okaying the surgery if insurance had paid for it. . .if her Daddy had been able to pay for it she would have got the surgery. .. doesn't paying cash count for anything anymore? She's working and having to take classes to get her GED, the guards are making her shower and keep her cell clean." Boohoohooing from everybody listening. "The prison's only allowing her one tray of food, her Mommy made two meals. . .one just for her and the second so they could eat too."
"Bitch should have had the stupidity beat out of her years ago from the sound of her." Calvin rumbles. "I wouldn't have put up with her shit and neither would James. The parents were enablers I bet."
"Yes, though Dad was putting his foot down. The girl had to have the couch to herself, the other girl got kicked if she even sat in front of it. Dad caught her once, slapped her, and she lost her privileges for two months, her mother had a fit but Natalie had a great big bruise so her mother agreed the other girl was in the wrong. That was just before she was sent to a fat farm and lost a hundred pounds. . .she hated it. They made her diet and exercise and. . ."
"And the bitch couldn't have that." Josette drawls. "Enjoy prison, the other cons won't be putting up with your shit."
"Oh yes, she's miserable. . .last I heard she was wasting away in prison. ..she'd lost a whole twenty pounds. They won't let her buy food in the commissary. . .they want her to actually lose weight and she's miserable. She can't even buy a bottle of pop and she used to drink a 12 pack a day. . .and not that diet crap either."
"No wonder she's so fat. . .how much. . .?"
"Before she left for the fat farm she weighed over five hundred pounds, she couldn't walk more than twenty steps, she refused to go to school. . .not that she could have fit behind a desk anyway. She refused to work on her assignments the school sent home. . .one of the reasons the psychologists are forcing her to get a GED." Alice drawls. "The moron gained all that weight back and then some. . .she was sure the surgery was a miracle. . .she'd still be able to eat what she wanted and the weight would magically fly off."
"Bullshit, if she wasn't making any effort to lose the weight they wouldn't have okayed it, no matter who paid for the surgery." Richard snorts. The others nod. "Fool would have been in a facility before long."
"Yes, she's miserable. . .neither the jail or prison will put a king-sized bed in her cell, she either has to sleep sitting up on the thin pad in her cell or sleep on the floor if the fat hanging over the side of the cement bothers her. She has to take a bench with her everywhere since she can't sit in a normal prison chair. And the cafeteria is like most school cafeterias. . ."
"Those little round seats." Calvin shakes his head.
"Yes, she could never have sat on them, she'd break them off the second she tried sitting down. She has to eat at the end of the table and is limited to only one tray, if she tries to steal food from other inmates she'll be dragged away and left in her cell."
"Is she working? I know Michelle's mother is putting up a fuss about it."
"Oh yes, she's got one job now and will have a second when the prison gardens are in. Michelle?" The story is told of the woman in Calvin's dimension and they shake their heads. "She's well rid of her. . .her and the other children,"
"Yes, we set up play dates with the other parents so they see each other regularly beyond writing. It's not perfect. . .nobody likes the idea that they had to be separated but nobody could take in seven children and two more when she delivered again."
"They've all got loving parents though, and Michelle is flourishing."
"That she is, she is getting good grades and is looking at universities in a few years. The teachers are all talking to her about their area. . ." The others nod in satisfaction.
Josette sends the schematics for the handcranked quilting machine to the Albatross Nest's server when she arrives for the party, it immediately going up on the screen. "Did you set it up yet?"
"Bronwen, Frances, and Elaine did while I was busy delivering containers . . .they didn't want to wait." The others chuckle.
"Your cabin workroom?"
"I put in the order for the plastic for that and Maxie's workroom. Her building's going to be shed sized on the outside and the full four containers on the inside." Everybody nods, well used to buildings bigger on the inside.
Josette waves a hand and quilts appear on the tables. "Some from the books I'm still working on so you're getting a sneak preview of them." The others smile and start looking everything over.
"Eight more to debut in the other dimensions, four more years. Another year here, I've been working on the quilts and figure three years off, three printing, another three years off. . .and three on to finish them."
Josette puts everything away when she returns to the dorm, 'looking' around and finding everybody busy. Hopping in the shower she opens a bottle of new shampoo and starts washing her hair, wrapping it in a turban towel as she looks out the wall of windows.
"This is the effect dumbass was looking for when he wanted all the walls replaced with one way glass." David says as he comes into her room.
"Yeah but as usual he was going at it the wrong way. There's no fucking way a wall of glass would be load bearing and even if it was, the damn sun would wake you up every morning if your room faced that way."
"Add in homes in cities where you have lights on all the time. That's what they made blackout curtains for."
"The 9th and tenth planets."
"People who work nights."
"Josette, your metallurgy thesis?" Principal Madison asks at dinner.
"Turned it in the morning of our last offworld harvest. I have six more classes, I'm sure Dr. Stark will smirk and tell me I have it when I'm done. It's not like I haven't been doing this for years." Nods from the other.
The Lights Festival is festive even with the snow that's passed and the snow threatening to fall after the event is over. Snowballs are being packed everywhere and there's a couple of snow forts already prepared. The fight is on and the teams change all the time, people dropping out to get something to eat or drink. People change sides in grand dramas. . .either defecting and being pelted with snowballs by both sides or being labeled as spies. Everybody's laughing knowing soon they won't want to be outside.
Josette smirks and passes on the schematics for the hand-cranked knitting machine to Superhero Doc before he leaves. Everybody is sure that very soon Maddy will be bawling as she turns that crank for six hours. Being 'hand-made' by a prisoner means the sales should be through the roof. Calvin snickers, maybe he should drop a few hints about Michelle's mother getting a job running one.
Josette slides into her usual spot in the meeting room after the first of the year. Big fat flakes are falling outside and the window and people are busy clearing the paths. President Bartlett, Doc, and Principal Madison start coming in, finding the room toasty warm thanks to an application of heat vision. David comes in a few minutes later, he'd been talking to Dr. Stark about something or other happening at GD.
"Thank you Josette."
"I heard from Superhero, he passed along the information on the knitting machine, they made three and the sister is working on one. . .the orders are already coming in. They'll quickly make back the cost of it and then start showing a profit. Maddy's wailing about all the hard work she's doing but nobody's giving her any sympathy."
"Good, how much weight did she lose?"
"So far less than thirty pounds. The doctors want her to lose it slowly, unlike biggest loser where they're left with all that excess skin. The prison wouldn't pay for that unless it became a medical necessity." Nods from the others.
"The new jobs?"
"Started last week, if the orders start getting bigger we might make two shifts." Nods from the others.
"First batch for Maxie is on the ship, I picked it up when I was picking up the recycling. The second order and the first part of my order is due in a couple months, the last of Maxie's order and the second part of mine will be due after we've planted. I'll have the exterior finished by next fall and work on the interior over the winter. Putting up panels, installing the stairway going up to the second floor loft instead of just the ladder. . ." Nods from the others. "Insulation?"
"The walls should be thick enough but I want to add insulation anyway, and the roof will definitely need it unless I want to see icicles forming." The others snicker but nod, that's one thing they won't see on Haven. . .all the buildings are tightly insulated to keep it *inside*. No heat loss through the roofs for them.
"Maintenance asked if we needed to start cleaning buildings again this summer. It's been a few years but. . ."
"Except for the buildings we use frequently, not needed." Principal Madison says slowly. Josette rattles off the list and he nods. She sends off the note and turns her attention back to the list, idly reaching over and swatting Principal Madison upside the head. "From Lady Simone for being an annoying brat, she added it to my list." While she might not have given birth to him she's certainly becoming his mother. President Bartlett and Doc try not to laugh at his hangdog look, David slid off the chair and is howling on the floor.
"Is the mall finished?"
"Yes, and most of the stores are been filled." Josette says, looking over the latest information. "Ahh yes, here we are. The nightclub on the fifth floor is doing well, the mini-golf course is being looked at in 'what the hell are they doing here, shouldn't they be outside' looks but sales are good. . .especially with a portion of the monthly proceeds are being donated to charities. A lot of groups are holding fundraisers there. The growing area is selling well, the movie theater is sold out whenever the latest big name hit premieres. The whiners who wanted the mall after they'd put in all that work are wailing. . ."
"Because they're not getting the profits. Figures." President Bartlett snorts. Josette opens a bottle of Haven Dew then holds up a hand, covers her mouth, and lets out a rumbling belch.
"Will you live?" Principal Madison asks dryly. Josette's shaking her head. "That one made my ears pop." She covers her mouth again, but this time it's for a yawn. Since she's not the only one yawning and everybody has been thinking this is a good day to veg out nobody says anything.
Maddy wails as she's led into that horrible room again. "Quit your caterwauling Daniels, I don't give a crap that your Mommy wouldn't have let anybody be mean to you. You're a fat pig who murdered your parents. You don't have any rights anymore. Now get to goddamn work. The list of what to make is posted on the board."
"Get up Daniels. . .you didn't faint from exhaustion and hunger." A guard bellows. "You eat three balanced meals a day to meet all your nutritional needs, you're just whining you don't eat all the shit you used to eat." Wailing that everybody's being mean to her she gets up. She tries to head for the door and he glares at her. "Get back to work you useless little brat."
"But you can't mean to make me work, can you?"
"Damn right you're going to be working, you ain't sitting on your ass on the state's dime."
"But I don't wanna work."
"Too goddamn bad, I'm sure your parents didn't wanna be dead." He snaps. She gulps and goes back to work cranking the handle. She'd tried suing her sister again and had been removed from the courtroom when she started throwing things at the other table in another fit because she didn't get what she wanted. And she actually got punished for that. . .the bitch deserved to get hit for not giving her her money. . .she actually hit her back. And kicked her, asking her how she liked being on the other end of the abuse. She'd blubbered she'd never abused her and she'd told the judge everything her sister had done. . .how could she have done that. Welllllll yeeeeesssss, she had struck her sister once or twice when she got too close to her. . .but that wasn't her fault, was it? She deserved to have the entire couch to herself. . .including the floor. If she could kick or hit her without getting up, she was too close. That little proclamation got her a series of kicks from her sister. She'd tried saying she was hurt and needed to be in the prison's hospital but the guard had snorted and said how could she had been hurt through all that blubber. And she'd got in trouble again."
Josette comes back to the dorm, taking off her snow boots and taking off the socks, throwing them over the line. David does the same before they both walk through the pocket doors. Alan is laying on the couch with a PADD nearly falling out of his lax fingers. David snorts and picks the PADD up, putting it on the coffee table as he rubs the ears of the cat sleeping on Alan's chest.
The morning of the book signing Sue snickers as she walks into her store and finding tables filled with piles of fabric and the remnants bin stuffed with bolts of fabric. The door of the stock room opening tells her where Josette is and she takes the new bolts of fabric, shelving them as Josette starts filling the bags.
"How many more?"
"This is it, that's why there's so many bags."
"All the quilts you had in your books."
"Yep." They measure the remaining fabric and slap labels on them, putting the fabric in the bin and Josette moaning at the price of the twenty page receipt that prints out. Sue sniggers and Josette just gives her a long-suffering look. "The cabin workroom?"
"I should be getting the first batch of supplies for the exterior when I pick up the second batch of Maxie's stuff after planting. I'll have the exterior finished this fall and work on the interior this winter. Right now I just have a ladder going up to the second floor loft, I'll replace that with a circular staircase."
"Take up less room than a regular staircase but easier to get up than a ladder. . .not that you need it." Josette chuckles and nods. "Maxie will have a regular staircase but she's also got a lift that will allow her to put stuff on it and bring it up or down so she's not trying to take it down a flight of stairs."
Agatha nods in satisfaction as Josette comes in and makes a dozen energy duplicates, ten of them working on finishing getting in the supplies for the quilts while the other three bring out the boxes and set up the tables.
"Is that everything?" It's more bags than normal.
"Yeah, do it now so I have everything when I need it." Josette yawns. "Hopefully the damn muses will let me be for a while when the last of the books are printed." Agatha just snorts.
"Yeah, I know. . .not gonna happen."
"Hear you got some celebrations this year?"
"Thomas and his group are turning a hundred, we're going to be married a hundred and fifty years, I turned twenty a couple months after we married. Another three years and the quints will be turning a hundred. Our youngest are turning forty-five." Josette shakes her head. "Sometimes it feels like just yesterday I was walking into the school for the first time."
"Yep, know that feeling very well. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that I opened the store." She looks around the store that's changed a lot over the last hundred some years and nods in satisfaction. A knock on the door has the food being delivered and at the stroke of eleven the doors open for the others to arrive.
"How many books?"
"About seven hundred of each, I took out a thousand each and signed the rest once the party was over." Josette yawns as she stretches backwards in her desk chair until it nearly falls over.
Josette waves the bags upstairs to the workroom and joins the others walking to the dining hall for dinner. She's waved to the front room and just gives her parents a 'yeah, and?' look that has the others snickering.
"Dad wants you at the school tomorrow morning after breakfast. . .our time, for a meeting."
"Some damn fool doesn't like how the school is running their libraries. It shouldn't be so large. . .they shouldn't be allowed to have so much fiction. . .it might 'warp' the children."
"And a regular library wouldn't?"
"He couldn't answer that." Principal Madison drawls. "He went whining to some fools who are trying to make a name for themselves in the government."
Josette sighs and looks up at the ceiling. "I might as well take out the socks while I'm there."
"No you listen to ME you little fool." Josette growls, twisting the hand she'd captured when he'd tried hitting her and making him cry out. "You are a fucking goddamn moron who needs to shut the hell up and go away before we kick your little ass up around your ears. You have no damn cause trying to tell us what we can or cannot have in our libraries. You don't have any children, you don't have any grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc. . . You're just a miserable fool who thinks he deserves to tell everybody else how to run their lives because you can't handle yours." He tries punching her with his other hand and she grabs that one, icily calling him on his stupidity until he curls on the floor bawling much to the disgust of the people he'd called in to 'inspect' the school that was failing their students. They drag him off and throw him in a room.
"Keep this goddamn fool on a leash before somebody really does kill him."
"What was his trouble at that school?"
"They had fiction in their library. . .it might 'warp' the students. He doesn't want students, he wants fucking little robots who don't think for themselves or enjoy anything."
"That's not what you told me you little bastard." The boss growls. "You told me the classes were substandard and the employees needed to be replaced. . .for the good of the children."
"They do, they wouldn't do what I wanted. . ." he wails. "They needed to be fired."
"Grow the hell up you miserable little sack. . ." he rips him to shreds for nearly an hour and he runs off wailing that a library shouldn't have fiction in it. . .it would warp the children.
"Moron probably only ready finance stuff." One of the others snorts as he runs off.
"Please, that's too hard for him. . He's one of those fools who doesn't read anything."
"God damn effing moron, tried hitting me and got his hands grabbed as I cussed him out. The people who he called in under false pretenses cussed him out, the judge cussed him out when he tried suing me for assault but I had the proof he started it. . ."
"Old fool." President Bartlett sighs. "Probably one of those fools who were born old."
"Yep, he figures he can shove around his nonexistent weight around and runs off wailing when people with some damn sense tell him to get the fuck over it. And himself."
"You took in the socks?"
"Yes, and we're expecting another batch of more machines in a couple years when the orders go up again. If it's as big as Granda thinks. . .definitely will have a second shift in both buildings, a new building, or both."
"Really?" President Bartlett says. Josette whispers something in his ear. He looks at her. "I'm not counting my chickens before they're hatched, I remember the damn nonsense with Earth and the sock machines." The teachers there nod and the teachers who weren't are told and sigh. "At least they were doing it to try to get in a supply before the ice age, not just because manufacturers complained they weren't seeing any of the profits."
Josette sighs as she settles in steaming hot water in her ranch bathroom with the girls. She's turned the fire up and settles against the cool of the tile.
"How long were you out?"
"Not quite six weeks, I had to deal with greedy idiots most of that time though."
//"Lady, I have no fucking clue who the hell you are but you certainly have no damn claim to my land. My partners have a little something something called class and would never had sex with you, no matter how damn drunk they are. Since you pointed out several men, none of which are my partners nobody's going to believe your crap."
"But they told me they were your husbands." she whines. "Damn it, how can I steal the land so my family can cut down all the trees if. . ." her voice trails off. "Oh shit, I said that out loud. . .didn't I?"
Josette just covers her eyes with a hand as the woman is dragged off. "I think this case can be dismissed?" She finally asks the judge.
"Oh yes, we were just giving her enough rope to hang herself and she did it very well." He sighs. The official paperwork is handed over a few minutes later and Josette sighs. "I'm about ready to shoot the next person who tries to get the land and trees away from me.//
"Goddamn idiot." Susan moans as she slides into the water. Professor Druid had come over to talk to Josette about something and was sitting on one of the padded benches along with Pat.
Josette cackles evilly and the others just know she somehow fixed their little red wagons.
"What did you do?" Pat asks with a grin.
"There is a dimension overrun by trees. . .think our scrub trees but they grow like weeds. As in, you can cut one down and by the next morning the stump has new growth, in a week it's over forty feet again. I dropped a few hints in various ears and they were sent off. . .being told they could take all the trees they wanted if they cleared it."
"And they couldn't?" Professor Druid sighs.
"Nope." Josette smirks. "After about six months they tapped out and the government allowed them to take the trees so they'd have something to show for all of their work as they promised they would never try to take any trees ever again. The next batch was sent off and they lasted six months too."
"And the reputable groups knew there was a catch and didn't want to be involved." Pat sighs.
"Yep. There will be reputable tree companies coming out when needed and the crooks looking to cause trouble will come running there for quick money. Once the crooks are finished the government is looking to take over the companies."
"Did you get any?"
"Oh yes, I took my own turn and I got tons on the ship. It's high-quality wood for all that it's 'scrub' trees. I got seeds for the trees in case we want to plant them ourselves."
"If it was more than trees I'd see them being able to replant blighted areas." Professor Druid says.
Josette just whistles innocently, everybody looking at her. "I asked because our planets were terraformed, Earth might need help after the snow melts. The 9th planet Earth might need help."
"Is there a way to stop the growing?"
"Dig up the roots completely. If you leave even a bit it will start growing again. But if you get all the root. . .you can put the plant up and replant it years in the future and it will grow again. Of course, if you do leave some of the root you have two plants now. And yes, you can split apart the roots for multiple plantings like you see on the garden shows."
"Doc is wanting information." Pat says with a smirk.
Rolling her eyes she grabs her PADD and sends off a file to him, Clark and Thomas, Thomas, 9th and 10 planet Docs, and finally both Dr. Starks. "I was going to send that in the morning."
"Oh like you expected them not to be demanding information after you 'innocently' told us." Susan splashes Josette with water once she's put the PADD up.
On Archimedes a botanist is whimpering as she sees the sped up footage of the tree growing out of the stump that had been left behind. Sheriff Carter is snickering about how tree companies had been hoist on their own petard and Drs. Cross and McNider were chuckling with him. Dr. Blake gives the three men behave looks but Dr. Stark had been smirking just as hard.
"Okay Josette, I know that look. ..what else did you do while you were on Calvin's Earth?" Pat drawls.
"Weeeeelllllll, a group of crooks are going to be very disappointed if they get out of prison to find the money they'd buried to keep safe was dug up in their absence." Josette drawls. "It's all old bills, none of it marked, and I already split off some to send to charity."
Pat sighs. Doc would have done the same thing in the old days so she can't complain. "Are you investing it?"
"Do I wanna know how much money?"
"Nope, let's just say spoils of war and leave it at that. Because they'd taken over other groups and when the government took them down it was a major bust."
The next morning Josette starts putting everything away in her workroom, Pat moaning. "Is this all the remaining quilts?"
"Yep, that's why I got so many the morning of the book signing." They look at the full to overflowing shelves and nods in satisfaction. Looking at a box of thread she brings out another case and Pat nods in satisfaction.
"Are we having another trip out to Ellis's?"
"In a couple years. The cruise is next year and I already paid for our tickets. Everybody's used to sharing cabins so it was a matter of 'okay, how many cabins do you need' and paying for them."
Agatha nods in satisfaction as she prints out the receipts for the tickets and the cabins booked, in the schools the others are doing the same. Now the money in the fund will be going for their purchases.
Josette lifts her face to the sky the day she'd went to the first planet, taking in deep breaths of warm fresh air before she starts moving the plants from the seed trays to the raised beds and waters them. She'd been asked to plant something for GD and she puts together another raised bed for them, taking pictures of everything as she plants. A couple months later for her she gets back on the ship and starts going to various planets. Poking her head in a lab in GD she waves her hand. The now dried plants, and bushels appear. Getting on her PADD she sends a file to the server as they fall on everything like starving wolves.
Dr. Stark is snickering as Josette turns around and she just rolls her eyes. "How much did you give us?
"Plants, all the info I took as I was growing, a quarter of what I picked green. . .both fresh and dried, and a quarter of what I picked ripe, again both fresh and dried." He nods in satisfaction. Selling to the Cafes she puts everything in stasis when she returns home, walking through the tunnel to the dining hall.
"Get a lot sold?"
"Yeah, the rest is in stasis or hanging on a wall dried." Josette sighs. "The first planet was nice and warm, I spent days out in the sun but. . ."
"You weren't goofing off which is what we'd be doing if we were on the first planet, you were planting crops to sell. You had to put together another raised bed for GD's pepper, didn't you?"
"Yes, and was looking over the rest of the crops while I was there. I got more cherry trees on the ship, I gotta plant in a couple years. This year I got to let some of my olives turn ripe."
"We've got a good supply yet. I had a few bumper years where I turned them into oil and put them in barrels of brine." Josette looks at her PADD then catches the cheesemaker's eye in the front room. "We gotta stuff more olives." He nods. "I'll talk to the others this summer about setting some aside."
"Yeah, I'll grow some more to stuff the peppers with." Josette yawns. "Oh shit." She says suddenly.
"Storm?" Principal Madison asks, grabbing his PADD.
"Yeah, coming in tomorrow night and it will dump on us. Dial everything up for six weeks, four weeks of wet heavy snow and two weeks to dig out. Nope, better make it three to dig out. . .give us a little padding."
"Fuck." The announcement quickly goes out and people snap into action. It's too late to put batteries in to charge but the large-scale replicator starts making wood for people to stock up on tomorrow. The head of the candle building and her workers head there after their dinners to both bring out their stock for tomorrow and to start making more. Josette splits off a duplicate to head that way. Meanwhile, the power production building is making plans to open up after dinner so people can run in and either charge batteries or have them charged. Everybody's brought at least one extra battery over the last few decades for occasions just like this.
The next morning Alan brings out two batteries to charge in the system, in town the candlemaking building opens and people come in to get extra candles. The large-scale replicator is busy with people who couldn't come in last night getting extra wood and the power production building is busy charging batteries.
This time the next night everybody is hunkering down in their homes, the animals all under cover and with food for seven weeks dialed up for them. The dining hall is quiet as they double check everything is in place and they just have to survive the next few weeks.
"Now this is a blizzard." President Bartlett says as he looks at the wind strength numbers. Everybody nods. "Printers?"
"If they have to go over a few weeks next year, they have to go over. No use trying to kill themselves catching up." Josette says, the others nod.
"Actually we're a little ahead on the orders, if need be I can replicate." The others nod.
"How long will the turbine. . .?"
"We figure two weeks, give or take a day. One of us will have to go give it a spin again." Josette checks the data coming from the turbine.
The skies are absolutely black when Josette wakes up the next morning, only the time on the PADD telling Josette that she did wake up at her usual time. Listening, she hears Clark, Clark Kent, or Kara flying around to check on everybody. A couple hours later she walks into the dining hall with the others, finding Clark Kent talking with Principal Madison. And the astronomy teacher?
"Oh good Josette, can you have the ships look this over?" He sends her a file. "We want to put up a satellite that's going to be full of labs around the suns and. . ."
"You want to put it in a place where it won't block the sunlight reaching the planets and yet will get enough power?" Josette asks. Clark Kent nods. "Too close to the planets and we can block out a good chunk of the sunlight like an eclipse but more permanent, too close. . ."
"to the sun and you'd fry. Two suns wouldn't mean a total eclipse but you still don't want to look up and see a black . . .thing over one sun." Nods from everybody. Josette sends the file to the ships and by the time breakfast is over she has the information for him.
Clark nods in satisfaction when he gets the message. "Josette asked her ships and they had a suggestion on where to put the satellite." He puts it up on the screen in JSA Headquarters on the the ninth planet. There's people from all the other planets gathered to talk about the satellite lab and they look it over. "The ships would be the best. . .we've got the information from Becka's world right, where their ship was located when they made the trip to the sun."
"And Josette's ships and the city-ship would be much bigger than the satellite."
Nods from the others.
"How is Haven?"
"Everybody's hunkered down, the storm just blew in last night, we've got four weeks our time before it blows through. This is similar to the storm of the century that the school went through on Earth. Thankfully most people still have good supplies of food on hand. . .if they were running low on something they got it in before the storm blew in."
"I am sincerely glad that Josette has enough of a a weather gift to give them a heads-up to get in extra supplies." Charles McNider says as he looks over at the screen showing Haven. . .or rather the buildings that can be seen in the darkness and blowing snow.
Two weeks later Josette flies to the turbine and gives it another spin before heading back to the dorm. Brushing off the snow she walks into the dorm and frowns then smiles as she feels more heat coming up from the vents.
"The turbine okay?"
"Yeah, we should be over this crap when the turbine runs down again. If not one of us will give it a spin again. At least this time we knew the damn storm would be a bad one and stick around all this time."
"Instead of the forecasters swearing the damn thing would move out of the system in a couple days. . .in a couple days. . .In a couple days." Alan makes a and so on and so on and so on hand gesture. Ma had came in with Clark who was talking to Doc and she just stares at them. "This happened to you?"
"Oh yes, they called it the storm of the century on Earth. . .those of us who actually lived through it called it a something a helluva lot worse. Like now it just hovered over the area and dumped snow on us, by the time it finally blew through. . .over two weeks after the forecasters swore it would be leaving the area we had ten to twenty feet of snow in some areas. . . the school being one of them. From what you'd said this would probably be one of the storms that blows you in at the farm the entire winter?"
Clark is listening to the story in Headquarters and he looks at Doc.
"Oh yes, we were keeping an eye on the school. The National Guard was bringing out supplies to the school and taking people to warming shelters but that would have been miserable to live through in a shelter." Pat says with a sigh. "Thank god the school had generators. And the dorm's furnace was working." The story of what happened then has him sighing.
In the dorm Josette is snickering. "Principal Madison told the students to put their garbage out in front of the dorms. . .it had been piling up and nobody could make it out to the garbage bins. . .even if they weren't buried. It was before we had the replicator, he told the dorms that had the front of the dorm buried to put it outside the tunnel door. After we got the replicators, during a bad storm like that we went around to the dorms and shot the garbage."
"What did you do with your garbage?"
"Put it in the front room so it was out of sight but not out of mind." David sighs. "Once we got the replicator it was just drop it in the replicator when you get a full bag."
Ma nods. Clark hasn't put a replicator up at the farm. . .yet but that would be very convenient. Right now taking in the recycling and garbage gives them an excuse to get away from the farm for a few hours.
Everybody heads to the dining hall for lunch and Doc walks up to the front table.
"Josette was talking about the storm of the century and having to put the garbage outside the front door or in the tunnels, what was your reaction to finding out about the replicator?"
Principal Madison leans back in his chair and chuckles the scene as fresh in his mind as when it had first happened.